The European Union (EU) on Wednesday launched the EU Business Avenues in Southeast Asia program to assist European Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to tap onto potential business opportunities in the fast-growing region.
This program aims to forge long-lasting business collaborations in South East Asia, which 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. These sectors include construction and building technologies, environment and water technologies, and food and beverage.
"South East 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 South East Asia program will prove to be mutually beneficial for both European SMEs and their South East Asian partners," he added.
Mr Teo Siong Seng, Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), echoed similar positive sentiment. "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're delighted to continue with our support in this new five-year program. The EU Business Avenues in South East Asia initiative will bring about more opportunities and investments that will benefit the region and local businesses."
On the occasion, the EU Delegation to Singapore will also launched the 2016 edition of the EU-Singapore Trade & Investment Report, which shows that the latest EU-Singapore trade in goods increased by 7.7 percent in 2015, while bilateral trade in services increased 15.4 percent.