United Overseas Bank (UOB) is stepping up its efforts to help more Singaporean companies seize cross-border business opportunities in ASEAN’s US$3 trillion economy. The Bank on February 19 signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to be the chosen financial partner of the GlobalConnect@SBF Strategic Partnerships initiative.
The collaboration combines the strengths of UOB and SBF in connecting Singapore businesses, including more than 27,000 SBF members, to opportunities opening up across ASEAN, especially in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The region presents a compelling proposition for businesses looking to grow, with the bloc projected to be the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2050. Trade agreements, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, are also expected to boost the region’s growth.
UOB’s FDI Advisory Unit helps companies with their market entry by providing deep in-market insights and access to the Bank’s partner ecosystem comprising regional government agencies, trade and business associations. Such insights and access are essential to companies navigating their overseas expansion, a sentiment that was reiterated in a recent study by UOB. According to the UOB SME Outlook 2021 Study, the lack of local market knowledge and difficulty in finding the right partners were the top two barriers Singapore companies faced when venturing overseas.
Through UOB’s FDI Centres located across the region and SBF’s Singapore Enterprise Centres, companies will benefit from the on-ground assistance provided by both organisations. UOB will also provide financial support and help businesses in their digitalisation journey, accelerating their adoption of technology by providing its comprehensive suite of digital solutions.
In addition, both organisations will share information and resources with Singapore companies through avenues such as webinars that are complimentary for SBF members to help them learn more about ASEAN’s diverse operating environments and to identify business opportunities.