Singapore Aims Strengthen Business Ties With Africa
As Western companies move to Asia to save themselves from the economic downturn in Europe and America, companies in Asia are heading south to explore business opportunities in untapped countries like Africa. Just recently, the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support the business expansion of Singapore companies in Africa.
According to the MOU, companies in Singapore can gain access to over 21 IFC offices in Africa for assistance when looking into business opportunities with African companies. This is especially useful for Singapore firms to have a better grasp of how the local markets of Saharan regions operate.
IE Singapore also stated that they will be setting up a new location in Ghana on the sidelines of the Africa Singapore Business Forum. The office will be the organization’s second branch in Africa.
In line with the welcome news, a partnership has also been signed by the Republic of Congo and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise to enhance the business cooperation between the two countries.
The Singapore government’s initiatives to focus on expanding its business realm in the southwest only prove how innovative the country’s economy is when enriching its future economic growth. Establishing a presence in a country as far as Africa may seem quite intriguing and unlikely for Asian economies, but Singapore went in without apprehensions. Hopefully, this move would spark interest among other Asian economies to follow suit. As of press time, 48 Singapore companies are operating in 42 countries in Africa.
While Africa is notorious for its unstable government and poverty rate, it’s potential for growth is massive, considering its abundance of natural resources and potential manpower. Prior to the MOU, Africa was a minority in Singapore trade, although bilateral trade between the two countries has shown a steady growth throughout the years. In fact, the trade between the two in 2011 was recorded at SG $13.8 billion.
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