Built upon the successful EU Gateway model of matchmaking and business support services, this EU-funded initiative aims to forge long-lasting business collaborations in Southeast Asia. The newly launched programme will focus on facilitating 20 targeted week-long business missions for up to 1,000 European SMEs across a range of sectors in South East Asia over the next five years.
“Southeast Asia is a region that presents tremendous untapped potential for European businesses, given its fast growing middle class, skilled and literate working-age population that can support business demand as well as provide a suitable base for production facilities,” said Dr Michael Pulch, EU Ambassador to Singapore.
“I am confident that collaborations enabled by the EU Business Avenues in Southeast Asia programme will prove to be mutually beneficial for both European SMEs and their Southeast Asian partners; EU companies possess the technological and business know-how that can further develop and enhance key economic and infrastructural industries in the region.”
Teo Siong Seng, chairman of Singapore Business Federation (SBF), echoed similarly positive sentiments. “The EU plays a vital role in our trade, investment, and the global economy. Having witnessed the progress achieved through working together during the pilot phase, we are delighted to continue supporting this new five-year programme. The EU Business Avenues in Southeast Asia initiative will bring about more opportunities and investments that will benefit the region and local businesses.”
The EU Business Avenues in Southeast Asia programme provides a comprehensive suite of dedicated services covering business, cultural, and legal needs: market studies, business culture awareness training and business meetings all of which are expected to facilitate collaboration with local players in the form of joint ventures, distributorships or licensing agreements, to smoothen and speed up the process of entry into local markets.
Following the completion of a successful pilot programme to Singapore, Malaysia. and Vietnam in 2015, the expanded programme will now cover three additional markets: Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
The upcoming inaugural business mission under this programme will focus on environment and water technologies, which presents immense opportunities for respective companies to introduce a broad range of top-notch European solutions to address acute problems faced in Asia: a lack of clean water and environmental degradation.
Companies were selected following consultation with local players in the water and environment sectors to ensure that they can provide technologies that are relevant in the regional markets. The selected European SMEs will showcase their expertise at Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2016 from July 11 to 13, following which delegates will move on to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on July 14 and 15.
By Tay Lan
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