Singapore hopes to attract UAE interest as presence grows in Asia

The chairman of the Economic Development Board of Singapore told an Abu Dhabi audience that business opportunities between the countries were expected to grow considerably.

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ABU DHABI // Singapore is hoping to attract more businesses from the UAE as it seeks to grow its presence in Asia, the chairman of the Economic Development Board of Singapore said on Wednesday.

Leo Yip told an audience in Abu Dhabi that business opportunities between the countries were expected to grow considerably over the coming years.

“Both countries could learn a lot from one another,” he said at the fifth Majlis Singapura event. The opportunities for trade with the UAE and the GCC are going to grown in the years ahead. Collaboration and partnerships will be beneficial to both countries.

The event serves as a platform to share and discuss developments, governance and public policy lessons.

“It is a forum for dialogue and the exchange of views,” said Umej Bhatia, Singapore’s ambassador to the UAE. “The Singapore-UAE relationship is one that spans a number of fields. The UAE is the 10th-largest trading partner with Singapore, and the largest in the Middle East.”

He said the countries had invested a lot in their respective economies.

“People-to-people links are growing strongly and the UAE is home to the largest Singapore population in the region,” Mr Bhatia said. “It’s for us a real honour to be able to see this relationship continue to grow and the UAE stands as a clear model to the region.”

Mr Yip said the aim was to find out how the countries, both relatively young, could work more closely.

“ “The achievements in the UAE have been remarkable and it is today a metropolitan cosmopolis. The UAE is a gateway into this part of the world and North Africa and we hope for Singapore to be that gateway for [Emirati] companies into Asia and Southeast Asia. We can work more closely together and there’s much more collaboration we can do.”

He said elements in the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision were aligned with those of the future of Singapore’s economy.

The UAE “seeks to build a sustainable, high-value, diversified economy”, Mr Yip said. “It also seeks to generate opportunities for people and there’s great alignment as well as a shared sense of the future.”