Ghana will be among the African countries to participate in this year’s Singapore African Business Forum scheduled to take place from August 23 to 27.
The virtual forum organised by Enterprise Singapore, an agency championing enterprise development, would bring together trade and business experts from Singapore and African countries to explore opportunities on trade and investment for socio-economic development.
Speaking at a virtual media briefing, Ms Jean Ng, the Regional Director, Enterprise Singapore, said the forum would serve as a platform for holistic engagement between Singapore, Asia, and Africa and raise awareness of Africa’s growth opportunities, promote Singapore as a hub for Asia-Africa trade and investment, among others.
The forum will focus on topics like “Africa’s Urban Future: Sustainable Planning and Construction, Manufacturing in Africa: Deepening Value-Capture in the continent, Digital Africa: The Next Tech Frontier.
Ms. Ng said in line with Enterprise Singapore’s role in developing Singapore’s startup ecosystem, the agency is focusing on the five pillar strategies- deepening global connections to support SG startups to internationalise and attract global startups, and catalyse more platforms for co-innovation and deployment.
The rest of the strategies is to strengthen human capital by growing local and global talent pool for SG startups, catalyse financing opportunities and create a network of infrastructure to support startups.
“Our economy is diversified, powered by a mixture of manufacturing and services sectors, of which many of these businesses are not just domestic, but international”.
“Singapore offers access to fast growing markets like China, India, and Vietnam and committed to pursue good relations with other countries as well with strong free trade networks through Free Trade Agreements with major economies and countries, making us an ideal partner”, she said.
Ms Ng said Singapore had a favourable and conducive environment for businesses to operate in a stable legal, regulatory, and tax framework with a highly qualified, global-ready workforce to support trading companies’ international business.
This, she said, is necessary because an extensive participant network created an effective, neutral marketplace for trade origination, while strong financial infrastructure enabled low-cost financing of high trade volumes.
She said Singapore had been a long-time development partner in Africa and have used their development models to influence manufacturing, sustainable infrastructure, innovations, and technology across the continent.
With the influx of Chinese influence, she said Singapore can provide an alternative model of partnership of development, particularly post COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2015, Singapore has been among the top 10 investor economies in Africa, measured by Foreign Direct Investment stock.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, from 2015 to 2019, Singapore’s investments into Africa rose from $17 billion to $20 billion.
On diplomatic visits and initiatives between Ghana and Singapore, she said the Bank of Ghana and Monetary Authority of Singapore commenced discussions on December 2020 to adopt the Business san Borders open hub of platforms between Singapore and Ghana.
The close cooperation will benefit small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs in both countries by expanding their connectivity with their counterpart economy while introducing innovative FinTech and digital tools to help SMEs seamlessly complete business needs.