Page 2183 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

The agreement between the two universities was introduced in 2004 and has to date allowed more than 450 undergraduate students from Renmin University to study in Canberra in areas including business, administration and commerce; tourism and management; applied economics; international studies; and advertising, marketing and public relations. In addition, this partnership has delivered a range of other successful initiatives, including an academic exchange program in public administration and a PhD student exchange program.

Between 22 and 24 June I led a brief ministerial trade delegation to Singapore and, again, to China. Singapore continues to emerge as a critical trading partner for the ACT and my visit provided an opportunity to meet with senior members of the Singapore business community to raise awareness of Canberra and to highlight the ACT government’s commitment to foster trade and investment links with Singapore, specifically around education, tourism, ICT and innovation. A number of Canberra businesses have already established strong connections to Singapore and are using it as a base for developing new opportunities. This includes Intelledox, who deliver world-class enterprise software solutions to corporate and government clients.

On the morning of 22 June, I attended a business breakfast hosted by Mr Bill Foo. Mr Foo was extremely generous in giving his time to coordinate an event that was attended by senior members of Singapore-based investment companies with interests in a range of sectors, including science and technology, tourism infrastructure, property and telecommunications. Mr Foo was appointed chairman of Unigestion Asia in Singapore in 2001. Unigestion is an asset management company established more than 40 years ago that has $US17.8 billion of assets under management worldwide as well as 189 employees across 21 countries. Mr Foo has also served as vice-chairman of the ANZ bank’s south and south-east Asia branch and chief executive officer and general manager of the ANZ bank in Singapore. At this meeting I had the opportunity to discuss the ACT’s aspiration and commitment to foster trade and investment links specifically around education, tourism, ICT and research.

I then had the opportunity to meet with Mr Ho Meng Kit, the chief executive officer of the Singapore Business Federation. The federation is the peak business chamber that champions the interests of the Singapore business community in trade, investment and industrial relations. Its membership base comprises all registered Singapore companies with a share capital, in Singapore dollars, of $500,000 and above. It represents 21,500 member companies as well as key local and foreign business chambers. The Business Federation acts as a bridge between the business community and government, working with these stakeholders to build an environment conducive to doing business. It also plays an important role in supporting and promoting trade expansion and improving overseas market access for its members.

My meeting with Ho Meng Kit established a platform for future engagement with the Singapore Business Federation and its members between the ACT government as well as business to business interaction between Canberra and Singapore. By way of example, an immediate outcome of the meeting was an offer by Mr Ho Meng Kit to support an inbound trade delegation to Canberra later this year with relevant members of the Singapore Business Federation. This will provide invaluable access and opportunity for Canberra businesses to establish links with Singapore.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video