Launched in 2014, AmCham’s Balestier Series celebrates two centuries of economic and commercial exchange between Singapore and the United States.
In the Balestier Series, distinguished Singaporeans from key sectors address AmCham members on subjects of significance. The format is flexible, depending on the preferences of the speaker. We recommend a breakfast or lunchtime event to maximize participation. The normal program consists of 20-30 minutes of remarks followed by questions and answers from the floor.
Recent and upcoming Balestier speakers include:
Balestier Series 2016
- January 13 – CJ Menon (Supreme Court) Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon
Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon discussed Singapore’s contributions to bringing the rule of law to business in Asia by creating an environment where commercial rights will be impartially adjudicated and upheld in a manner that comports with business realities and practical sensibilities. He explored these ideas through the lens of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), which was established in January 2015 to provide parties with a prime destination for the resolution of international commercial disputes. Following his remarks, he led a panel discussion with three eminent jurists who sit on the SICC including Justice Carolyn Berger of the United States.
- May 18 – Mr Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) & Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
Skills Future is a national movement to provide Singaporeans with the opportunities to develop to their full potential throughout life, regardless of their starting points. The skills, passion and contributions of every individual will drive Singapore’s next phase of development towards an advanced economy and inclusive society. Mr Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), shared some thoughts on the crucial role that businesses must play in employee and skills development in order for Skills Future to become a reality, and participants had the opportunity to engage him in conversation.
- June 16 – Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health
Minister Yong shared his views on the role of the healthcare industry in Singapore over the next five to ten years, the major challenges that lie ahead, and the Ministry’s vision for cooperation between the public and private sectors and within ASEAN.
- August 16 – Mr Loh Boon Chye, CEO, Singapore Exchange Limited
Mr Loh shared his views on the economic and financial outlook for Singapore and the region, the emerging interests (sustainability, for example) that the SGX champions, and the evolving role of the SGX in the years ahead.
- September 27 – Dr. Janil Puthucheary, Minister of State for Ministry of Communications and Information
Dr Janil Puthucheary graciously spoke on the Singapore-US partnership and opportunities for collaboration in the Digital Economy (including future directions of cyber-security policies).
- November 14 – Mr. Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance
Minister Wong provided insights on the challenges of providing a world-class infrastructure and a vibrant sustainable living environment for Singapore.
Additional past speakers include:
- Chan Chun Sing, then-Minister for Social and Family Development
- Stephen Lee, President, Singapore National Employers Federation
- Chee Hong Tat, then-Chief Executive, Energy Market Authority
- Kishore Mahbubani, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
- Minister Lim Swee Say, then-Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and NTUC Secretary-General
- Tan Chuan-Jin, then-Minister for Manpower
- Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore
- Ambassador Bilahari Kausikan, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Dr. Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, EDB
- Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance
- Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Supreme Court of Singapore
About Joseph Balestier
Joseph Balestier was the first Consul to Singapore for the United States of America, serving between 1837 and 1852. His wife, Maria Revere Balestier, was the daughter of American patriot Paul Revere who was famously celebrated in poem as the midnight rider of the American Revolution. In 1843, Mrs. Balestier presented a bell cast in her father’s foundry to St. Andrew’s Church. One of an estimated 134 bells still in existence that were cast by the Revere foundry and that bear the Revere name, the Revere Bell in Singapore is the only one located outside the United States. A symbol of the close ties between the United States and Singapore, the Bell is the emblem for the Balestier Series.