8 November 2019

Business China partners Asia House for Global Trade Dialogue

Business China CEO Ms Tin Pei Ling attended The Asia House Global Trade Dialogue on 7 November 2019 at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore, where Business China is supporting partner.  

Business China joined the dialogue as part of its mission to develop a cultural and economic bridge between China and the rest of the world. Business China hopes to harness the support of the public sector and private enterprises in attendance to strengthen the global connectivity of Singapore through their strong network via opportunities such as The Asia House Global Trade Dialogue.

In his opening keynote speech and Q&A, Mr S Iswaran who serves as Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations, shared Singapore’s response to the challenges it faces amid trade uncertainty and digital disruption. He urged Singaporeans to “stay open so as to seize the opportunities and grow the pie, and be inclusive so that these opportunities are equitably distributed.” The dialogue also heard from Arancha González, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, International Trade Centre, and Stuart Gulliver, Non-Executive Director, Jardine Matheson Holdings, and former Group CEO, HSBC.

With regards to the dialogue, Ms Tin shared that “Given the many global happenings including the tensions between United States and China, Singapore needs to start adapting to the international consequences. There is an increasing need for multilateralism and openness from countries and safeguard themselves against protectionism. Singapore has always been welcoming and our relations with China are unique – being able to partner and connect China to the world. As we build and strengthen our network of ‘Singapore-China Savvy talents’ to build key connections with China to explore opportunities in the region, we also constantly stay on top of latest trends and source for like-minded partners like Asia House to introduce global and relevant insights and perspectives to Business China’s members. We are pleased to partner Asia House on the Global Trade Dialogue, where we are able to equip our members with the necessary skills to pave the way for the future economy.”

After the dialogue, Ms Tin was invited to join a closed-door roundtable partnered with Accenture revolving around Innovation and Regional Growth in Southeast Asia. During which Ms Tin shared on the critical ingredients for innovation: firstly, the company DNA; the company needs to believe in it and secondly the power of leadership; if the leaders strongly believe in this and are willing to take the risk, it will work. One example is the founding of WeChat. She also shared that innovation is about how we use technology to solve the problems that people have discovered by matching corporates with researchers such that experts can understand businesses better and try to innovate with new solutions or adapt current solutions to address these needs. In her opinion, social innovation will be the next driver.

The dialogue attracted support from across Singapore's business and policy spectrum, with supporting partners including EU-ASEAN Business Council, Singapore Fintech Association and Business China. There were also speakers from global brands spanning multiple sectors, including Accenture, Alibaba, Arup, Cisco, Bukalapak, Google, Pfizer and Ripple.