Singapore has long been Asia’s top business hub because of the massive flow of goods and services that go through its ports daily, and its local companies can help bring that same model of efficiency and economic progress to Africa.
Singapore (PRWEB) September 04, 2012
While Europe and America look eastward to Asia, analysis by the leading Singapore business setup portal GuideMeSingapore.com shows that some of Asia’s developed economies are looking South towards what they see as the next frontier for untapped growth – Africa.
The recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) is a vivid confirmation of this trend. The MOU, which seeks to establish greater business collaboration between companies in Singapore and Africa, gives Singapore entities more access to IFC’s 21 offices in Africa, and leverages IFC’s experience to provide Singapore firms a better understanding of the local markets especially in the sub-Saharan areas.
In addition,IE Singapore announced that it will be opening a new overseas center in Ghana. The facility, which will be the organization’s second office in Africa, was announced at the second-ever Africa Singapore Business Forum. The event also saw the signing of a ‘partnership to improve the ease of doing business’ between the Republic of Congo and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise.
The moves by Singapore are a step forward for the country, which is looking to establish a presence in Africa’s economy. According to IE Singapore, trade between African countries and Singapore grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 11.8 percent. Last year, bilateral trade between Singapore and the region was a record S$13.8 billion. There are currently approximately 48 Singapore companies doing business in 42 different countries in Africa.
“In general, when people talk about Africa, they have a perception that the region is under-developed, has unstable governments, and lacks modern infrastructure. However, there are several factors working in Africa’s favor and Africa is in position to become an economic success story,” said Ms. Jacqueline Low, Chief Operating Officer at Janus Corporate Solutions, a leading Singapore company registration services firm and the parent of GuideMeSingapore.com.
“One of these factors is that Africa is a region with over a billion people. The sheer numbers alone can make for great economic potential, as evidenced by China’s rising economy over the last decade. Africa already exceeded US $1.8 trillion in terms of nominal GDP at the end of 2011, and its population is expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2020. Within that large group is a surging middle class clamoring for more progress and a better quality of life.”
“This creates a wealth of opportunities for companies from Singapore, which can help provide access to everything from modern infrastructure to high-quality goods made by brand-name manufacturers. Singapore has long been Asia’s top business hub because of the massive flow of goods and services that go through its ports daily, and its local companies can help bring that same model of efficiency and economic progress to Africa,” she continued.
“China’s USD $9-billion resources-for-infrastructure deal with Congo a few years back was a big indicator of just how much Africa still holds in natural resources. While Singapore does not have to go to the extent of what the Chinese government did, the fact still remains that if Singapore companies can establish themselves in Africa, they would be able to harness these resources.
The relationship between Singapore and African businesses would be a win-win for both sides in the long term. In essence, it is a reflection of the open economy which has made Singapore what it is today – everyone has something great to contribute towards progress and the greater good,” concluded Ms. Low.
About Janus Corporate Solutions Pte Ltd
Janus Corporate Solutions Pte Ltd is a leading Singapore-based firm that provides comprehensive and cost-effective Singapore company formation, employment visa, accounting and tax filing services to businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.guidemesingapore.com.