As a part of a roundtrip to Asia, the Committee recently stopped by Singapore, after first having visited Beijing and Shanghai.
The overall aim for this last part of their trip was to achieve greater insight into the role of Singapore as a regional investment hub and the exceptional opportunities and potential challenges this entails for Norwegian business interests.
Although having just arrived from a very busy week in China, which included a visit to the Norwegian pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, the Committee was excited to be in Singapore and eager to learn more about the unique business growth strategy of the little island-state. It was therefore fitting that the first post on the official program was the Economic Development Board (EDB), which is the government’s agency for planning the future of Singapore’s economy. EDB also functions as a contact point for Norwegian companies that are interested in setting up shop in Singapore. Representatives from two Norwegian companies, Det Norske Veritas and the Renewable Energy Corporation (REC), also attended the meeting.
Afterwards, the tour continued to Temasek Holdings, which is Singapore’s public investment fund, and to Singbridge, an innovative construction company which is involved in the development of new cities in China. Then followed a lunch hosted by the Norwegian Business Association in Singapore where the Committee members had a chance to meet Norwegian business people living and working in Singapore. The last visit of the day went to Jurong Town Corporation where the members were informed on the topics of clustering and the petrochemical industry in Singapore, both of which are topics of high relevance to Norwegian business development.
On the Committee’s final day in Asia it visited the National Trade Union Congress where they were fascinated by a talk on women in the workforce, integration policies and the tripartite cooperation between labor, business and government delivered by NTUC Director Mrs. Halimah binte Yacob. Finally, as the last post on the program, the Committee had a meeting with CFO Pål Elstad at REC, a Norwegian energy company that produces solar power and which recently established production facilities Singapore. This visit also included a first-hand tour of the company’s wafer-production factory.
At the end of two busy days, the Committee members gave the impression that they were very happy with their visit to Singapore and some expressed that they would indeed have liked to stay longer.