To reflect the importance of international trade and investments to our members, SBAS has during 2017 been transformed into a chamber of commerce, (SwedCham) and will through the Singapore Business Federation be a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC, Paris) which has links with the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The main objective of ICC is to promote economic freedom, free trade, free competition and harmonization simplification of rules and routines governing international trade.
Since the foundation of SBAS 35 years ago, the Association has had a productive and highly valued close cooperation with the Swedish Embassy and Business Sweden in Singapore – Team Sweden.
The main objectives of SwedCham are as follows:
- To advise Swedish companies who are either already established and doing business in Singapore or intend to do business here.
- To facilitate the exchange of views and information between Swedish companies and other companies or firms doing business in Singapore in which there is a direct or indirect Swedish interest.
- To seek affiliation with other appropriate bodies in Singapore and in the region in order to further the above mentioned objectives.
SwedCham has continuously developed its activities to empower the growing Swedish business community and facilitating business opportunities. Today we have members ranging from well- known multinational companies to small start-ups.
As many of our corporate members have Singapore as a regional base for primarily their South East Asia operations we have together with the Embassy and Business Sweden arranged a number of Business Delegations. So far we have visited Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
A few years ago we introduced ”Swede of the Year” and ” Swedish Company of the year”. The reasoning behind this prestigious award is to honour a person and a company in our community that without recognition or remuneration through great efforts creates a positive difference to society either here in Singapore or in the region.
Swedish exports to Singapore have continuously risen to now over 5BN SGD in 2017. Singapore is one of the most important export destinations in the region. To keep the perspective however, less than 2% of Swedish exports go to ASEAN. This is expected to change. During the 2013-2015 period Swedish companies invested USD1.2 billion into the ASEAN region to be compared with almost USD 6 billion for greater China during the same period. We expect investment flows into ASEAN to gather pace given the economic growth of the region. Singapore has developed into a regional hub for business in South East Asia.
During the 35 years since the inauguration of SBAS (now SwedCham), Swedish business interests and establishments in Singapore have shown a rapid growth. There are today some 300 Swedish companies present in Singapore estimated to employ around 8000 people in Singapore only. The overall Swedish community consists of around 2000 individuals (of which around 400 are exchange students).
Our Association was inaugurated by Senior Parliamentary Secretary Chan Chee Seng, Ministry of Trade and Industry, on September 27 1982.
On that day the Swedish Minister of Commerce, Mr Björn Molin sent the following message:
”The official inauguration of the Swedish Business Association Singapore marks a new event in the dynamic development of trade and industrial co-operation between Sweden and Singapore. The Association will constitute an important forum for the furtherance of Swedish-Singaporean interests in these fields. On behalf of the Swedish Government, I would like to convey my compliments and best wishes for the success of the Association.”