Monday, 13 January 2020: UAESBC members began 2020 on a positive note by participating in our first-ever joint networking session with members of the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SMCCI). Held at the beautiful ambience of the Parkview Square 24th Floor Boardroom where the UAE Embassy resides, the event was attended by about 50 participants from both UAESBC and SMCCI.
The First Secretary of the UAE Embassy in Singapore, His Excellency Mohammed Salim Al Falahi, graced the occasion and gave the Opening Remarks on behalf of the UAE Ambassador, His Excellency Dr Mohamed Omar Balfaqeeh.
Apart from expanding the outreach of both our members, one of the main objectives the event was to inform and educate the attendees on the opportunities, procedures and advantages of expanding to the UAE and Abu Dhabi markets which was shared by UAESBC President, Dr Brian Shegar, and Mr Leonard Thangavelu from the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Attendees also got to know extensively about the local grants available to fund internationalisation projects to UAE from the SME Centre @ SMCCI Advisor, Mr Mike Krishnan.
We also had the pleasure to host Ms Sabrina Khoo an Executive Manager the URA’s International Relations department who also gave us a sneak preview of the breath-taking Singapore Pavilion residing in the Sustainability Wing of EXPO2020 Dubai.
Many more joint networking sessions will be organised this year with other local chambers and trade organisations. Sign up as our member to be invited to such exclusive members-only sessions and other interesting events through out 2020!
The UAE Singapore Business Council (UAESBC) would like to thank Mr Simon Naga, Vice President of Al-Futtaim Group (Asia), for a stimulating and fascinating sharing session this morning at another serving of our Breakfast Talk Series. We are indeed honoured as Mr Naga revealed that this was his first public speaking presentation ever.
The title of the talk was “Challenges Facing the Retail Sector” and once again, the iconic Singapore Cricket Club was the venue for this UAESBC quarterly event. Attendees were privileged to find out the early beginnings of Mr Naga’s career and how he had faced challenges head on with not only patience and an appetite for perfection, but also a courageous character many may not possess. Mr Naga, along with Mr Regis Schultz, President of Retail, Al-Futtaim, then tackled pertinent questions from the fully occupied Gilmour Room on various topics including Al-Futtaim’s strategies, experiences and outlook on the local and international retail market.
The Al-Futtaim Group owns over 200 of the world’s high quality and renowned retail brands including Royal Sporting House, Marks & Spencer, Zara, Robinsons, Ted Baker and the list goes on. Mr Naga has had more than 18 years of retail experience himself, starting from serving customers on the shop floor to steering one of the world’s biggest retail conglomerate. A key accomplishment in his senior management role at Al-Futtaim was when he achieved in 2014 a record double-digit revenue growth for the business portfolio.
The event was graced by the UAESBC Patron, His Excellency Dr Mohamed Omar Balfaqeeh, UAE Ambassador to Singapore who presented the token of appreciation to Mr Naga accompanied by UAESBC President, Dr Brian Shegar and Mr Schultz.
You can browse through the photos of the event below: