Global Entry 400x

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler applicants now have an opportunity to schedule/reschedule for an interview appointment at the upcoming CBP Trusted Traveler Enrollment event in Singapore. To register for this event, log on to your Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account and schedule your appointment online.

 

Select the interview location: “Singapore International Chamber of Commerce

 

The event is open to ALL eligible CBP Trusted Traveler applicants conditionally approved for the Global Entry Program or/and the APEC Business Travel Card.

 

Date: 2016 October 31 – November 4 (Mon-Fri)*

Time: From 8.30 am to 4.30 pm

Venue: Singapore International Chamber of Commerce 6 Raffles Quay #10-01, Singapore 048580

 

*Please note: Applicants are to contact the Singapore, US Embassy CBP at email: globalentrysingapore@state.gov for inquiries on appointments and other information.

 

Note that anyone who has a scheduled appointment at the Embassy after the event (the regular Wednesday appointment slots are booked through early 2018) may reschedule using their GOES online account for the October 31 – November 4 event dates at SICC, while slots are available.  Why wait until next year if you’ve already paid the $100?

 

Also, Americans can sign up for the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (“e-gates”) at Changi Airport now.  Most Americans living here already get it through their employment pass, but Americans who travel here from the US can now sign up when they are in Singapore using the ICA website.  Please share this information with colleagues who travel frequently to Singapore.

 

Sustainability Header

The strength of the business case for sustainability is undeniable and rising.  So why don’t more companies embrace sustainability as a core principle?

Could it be because lots of people aren’t familiar with the opportunities in their own sector, or incorrectly think of green washing when they hear the word “sustainability”?   As they examined the business case for sustainability, our August 25 AmCham panel highlighted the many dimensions of sustainability – yes, it is about sound environmental stewardship, but it is also about investing in employee development and welfare and grasping the big opportunities that are developing because of pressing global needs.

Every company operates across at least some measures of sustainability in order to survive in today’s hyper-competitive world.  Our panel also explored how to encourage boards and c-suites to look beyond the next quarter.  Ideas included introducing management and governance benchmarks to identify and take advantage of existing opportunities, strategically aligning business goals with investments in sustainability and climate change adaptation, and recognizing that in a changing world sustainability will increasingly be a key issue for business in terms of commercial potential and social expectations.

AmCham thanks the members of our inaugural sustainability panel — Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Ltd; Matt Harris, President and CEO, AIG Asia Pacific; Paul Kent, Director for Economics and Regulation, KPMG; Zach Wilson, Managing Director, Singapore, Alfa Tech VestAsia Pte Ltd; and William Clune, Sustainable Earth Office Policy Director, Nanyang Technological University.

 

We look forward to welcoming our members at future sustainability discussions.

During his State Visit to the US, Singapore Prime Minister Lee said the following:

 

“Singapore fervently hopes that the U.S. will stay engaged and maintain its indispensable role in the Asia-Pacific. In particular, we hope, and I’m sure the president shares this hope, that Congress will ratify the TPP soon.”

 

AmCham Singapore agrees completely. The TPP is not only economically in the US interest, it keeps the US front-and-center as an “indispensable” nation in the Asia Pacific.

 

In an opinion editorial in the August 24th Straits Times, AmCham Singapore TPP Task Force Chairman Steven Okun, and Task Force member and President of the Asia Trade Center Deborah Elms discuss the economic and strategic imperative of having the US Congress pass this TPP in this session and having President Obama sign in into law.

 

If this does not happen, those in the region believe it will be years before the US will be prepared to engage with credibility on crafting an amended agreement. As such, the TPP members will look to other agreements in which to advance their economic interests – at the expense of the US’ strategic and economic interest.

 

Who will step in with the US absence? Three candidates are China, the European Union (EU), and Australia, all of which compete directly with the US in the region.  US exporters are keenly aware of the advantages lost to their competition if the US does not move ahead.

 

From a multilateral perspective, the remaining TPP members will look to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as the next step. This agreement lacks much of what makes the TPP so special – chapters that address 21st century doing business issues. RCEP is missing the US, but does include China, Indonesia, Japan and nearly every other key US trading partner in Asia.

 

The stakes in ratifying TPP are not just for US businesses and workers to gain the benefits of TPP itself, but also for the United States’ ability to remain competitive and advance our interests in the region. Those of us who live and work in the region know this first-hand.

 

AmCham Singapore urges the US Congress must pass the TPP in this session.

 

Click here for a link to the AmCham Position Paper.

 

Click here for a link to the Op-Ed in the Straits Times.

With the Board’s selection of the South East Community Development Council (SE CDC) as our charity partner for 2016, AmCham has launched an exciting program of CSR activities in this area that is home to many AmCham member companies.

 

The AmCham Career Kickstarter program got off to a great start on July 27.  This program aims to help high school students understand the diversity of their future career opportunities, the many paths to success, the importance of remaining open to new experiences, and the value of openness to risk and error.  Young executives from Citi, Coca-Cola, and P&G enthralled an audience of 50 Temasek Secondary School students with lively interactive presentations and an equally lively question and answer session.

 

Career kickstarter collage

 

As part of our 14th Corporate Community Day on October 22, AmCham and SE CDC will co-host a Walk for Rice.  Guests of honor Minister for Social and Family Development, Tan Chuan-Jin and U.S. Ambassador Kirk Wagar will wave the starting flags at ITE College East, 10 Simei Avenue, Singapore 486047.  AmCham and NTUC will donate a bowl of rice to a needy family for every 100 meters each participant walks.  Please keep an eye out for the email inviting AmCham members to register along with your families, friends, and colleagues.  Let’s earn as many bowls of rice as we can!

 

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Emergenetics photo 4 Emergenetics photo 3

Emergenetics photo 2 Emergenetics photo 5

 

On the afternoon of Thursday, August 4, AmCham’s summer interns had a profile-review session with Emergenetics consultant, Amos Lim. Amos explained the Emergenetics’ goal “to maximize human potential” and how the Emergenetics Profile articulates each individual’s Thinking and Behavioral Preferences. Thinking preferences include analytical, conceptual, structural, and social, while behavioral preferences include expressiveness, assertiveness, and flexibility.

 

The Emergenetics Profile helps individuals understand the way she/he prefers to behave, think, and interact with others. Understanding individual employees helps identify the group dynamic as a whole in an organization. Profile results from Emergenetics help to increase employee engagement, promote effective leadership, and understand high performing teams.

 

The intern group participated in several group activities to assess how each thinking preference or behavioral preference plays into their daily decisions and interactions with others. Through these group activities and profile-reviews at the end of the session, each intern understood their preferences as well as others and the group dynamics.

 

Here are testimonials from interns:

“I found the Emergenetics session to be highly informative and useful. Mr. Lim did an excellent job of guiding us through our profiles and results, and in the process helped me acquire new perspectives and views on various aspects of my own character and actions. I think Emergenetics has a unique and highly versatile system, which measures different characteristics in surprisingly straightforward and effective measures. I have definitely noticed how the results were instantly applicable to my day-to-day behavior, and have found it especially useful when rediscovering how my profile helps me work to my strengths and find the best group dynamic possible.”    – Harry Chiang

 

“The Emergenetics Profile review session was fascinating and unlike any other psychometric test I’ve taken in the past. Amos did a great job in ensuring that we understood the background of the Emergenetics Profile and recognized both advantages and challenges of our preferences. I walked in to the session having a preconceived idea of what the session was going to be like, and walked out pleasantly surprised by my experience. The profile review session also helped me understand my peers better and demonstrated ways in which I can improve communication with them. I’m glad AmCham Singapore and Emergenetics International – Asia Pacific facilitated this session for the interns.”    – Ashwini Srinivas

 

“The Emergenetics session provided a new perspective on the dynamics of teamwork and how team members can effectively tackle various aspects of a task.”   – Lewis Lau

 

Drs. Geil Browning and Wendell Williams developed the Emergenetics Profile in 1991. The Emergenetics Profile follows a psychometric questionnaire, which helps identify individuals’ thinking and behavioral preferences – information which can be used to help individuals and teams be more effective and productive. The Emergenetics model is developed through research and based on latest brain science theories. Emergenetics suggests that people do not focus on changing their profile, but rather discover ways to work with their preferred ways of processing information and develop strategies to work with different people.

 

Emergenetics photo 1

 

Each of the seven interns learned a lot and enjoyed the experience. If you or your company is interested, feel free to contact Emergenetics directly at +65 6225 6630 or email at info.asia@emergenetics.com. To learn more about Emergenetics, visit their website at www.emergenetics.com/apac.

 

 

Emergenetics International

asean chairmanship

As ASEAN Chair this year, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is receiving renewed interest and attention. Setting the theme “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community,” the Lao leadership is now under pressure to lead and implement the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 as ASEAN begins a new chapter after the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015. Despite many challenges, leaders have welcomed and supported the Lao chairmanship. Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo has expressed confidence that “ASEAN will develop better cooperation and succeed in realizing ASEAN’s mission under Laos chairmanship,” while the U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigian has reinforced U.S. support for the Lao chairmanship.

 

Laos will play an integral role in representing ASEAN interests and enhancing further cooperation between ASEAN and its partners as ASEAN continues to be an attractive region for business expansion. In AmCham’s 2016 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, 77% of respondents from Laos mentioned that ASEAN integration will be important for them to do business in the region.  This is anticipated to help boost Laos’ strong economic performance over the past decade and Laos expects a GDP growth rate in excess of 7% annually. Additionally, close to half of survey respondents (46%) have indicated plans to expand within Laos, while the same proportion of respondents also expect their workforce to expand in 2015.

 

As the chair this year, Laos has laid out eight priorities for its term, including trade facilitation, narrowing the development gap, enhancing connectivity, fostering greater regional cooperation, and transitioning to a formal economy. These priorities will strengthen the current government’s initiatives while creating a more positive business environment in Laos. This will be especially important as the expansion of the rule of law still remains a key issue for many businesses; more than 80% of respondents indicate that the lack of efficient and fair enforcement of the law is a major hindrance for business operations in Laos. Yet, businesses are optimistic that this will improve in the future. 69% of respondents have expressed confidence that the US$3.9 million grant received in 2014 from foreign donors including United States, United Nations, France, and the European Union to expand the rule of law will likely improve the business environment. This in turn will help to build foreign investors’ confidence in Laos.

 

This year will be an opportunity for Laos to lead and maintain the momentum in moving ASEAN forward this year despite being the smallest economy in ASEAN. Companies continue to be attracted by the strong growth prospects in this region with most ASEAN respondents (86%) expecting their company’s level of trade and investment to increase over the next five years. Backed by the ASEAN Chairmanship, this could position Laos as an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investors.

 

The next edition of the report, the 2017 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, will be released in Laos during the United States-ASEAN dialogue at the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in early August.

company.com

Inaugurated this year, in recognition of 50 years of U.S.-Singapore diplomatic relations, 30 AmCham Singapore members were recognized for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts with the launch of the inaugural AmCham CARES award. The award which was presented at the 43 Annual General Meeting (AGM) aims to raise awareness about CSR among members as well as demonstrate our continued leadership among chambers in Singapore.

 

Award recipients include companies from various sectors and industries whose applications were reviewed based on their understanding and demonstration of the linkages between business operations and the society. Companies were required to fill in an online application form where they were evaluated based on their program’s connectedness to Singapore, attention to both business objectives and societal needs as well as sustainability and integration of the program.

 

AmCham CARES is not a competition but instead serves as a great way to benchmark, share best practices, sustainability reporting and look at ways to improve companies’ current CSR programs.

 

The award was presented by U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, Kirk Wagar, along with immediate past Chairman of AmCham Singapore, James Andrade, and AmCham Singapore Govenor, Steve Okun.

 

Full list of award recipients.

Since 2003, the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore has invited all AmCham members to join the U.S. Embassy in celebrating our annual Corporate Community Day (CCD). Ambassador Kirk Wagar is proud to continue this tradition of serving the communities in which we live and work. CCD 2016 will take place on October 22 – we hope that you will participate and join us for this exceptional day.

 

CCD both symbolizes the commitment companies bring to their communities and demonstrates how small acts, when added together, can make a difference. Year after year, AmCham members from companies large and small dedicate their time to volunteer for a variety of causes around Singapore on the same day to create a big-hearted one-day impact. The inaugural CCD involved just 6 member companies. Last year, we welcomed over 2,000 CCD volunteers from 77 companies who served more than 8,000 beneficiaries through 62 separate community service engagements. Click here for more information.

 

Ambassador Wagar will join in as many activities as possible on this special day. Click here to watch his comments on CCD.

 

The first CCD organizational meeting will be on Tuesday, June 21, at the AmCham office (#23-03 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, S228208) from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Please click here to register.

 

For more information, please contact Hazlyn Aidzil at haidzil@amcham.org.sg .

 

We look forward to seeing you on June 21 and October 22!

apcac

Every year, the Asia-Pacific Counsel of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) visits Washington, DC to meet with senior Administration officials, major think tanks, and members of Congress and senior Hill staff.  This year’s Doorknock is scheduled for June 21-24.

 

The focus of the Doorknock’s policy representations will be the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), tax and FATCA reform, and renewal of the APEC Business Travel Card.

 

With the TPP vote pending, this year’s Doorknock is exceptionally important.  This is our chance to bring our story from the field to the decision-makers who will determine the timing and outcome of the vote on the TPP.  We need a strong delegation who can convincingly explain how the TPP will boost American growth and American jobs.

 

The link to register is here http://apcac.org/doorknock.   Please sign up now!

 

AmCham joins its members in promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and we support a range of CSR activities. The flagship is our annual Corporate Community Day that we organize in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy.  On a single day each fall, AmCham members volunteer at organizations of their choosing — the result is Singapore’s largest one-day volunteerism event.  We look forward to yet another record-breaking level of participation at the 2016 CCD on October 22. Please be on the look-out for the announcement of the first planning meeting.

 

More than a decade ago, we established the AmCham Scholarship Fund at Singapore Management University.  This provides financial support to SMU students, including for an annual exchange with the University of Southern California.  The SMU-USC students research an important foreign policy topic and brief AmCham members on their conclusions.

 

This year, in honor of fifty years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and the United States, we launched AmCham CARES to recognize member companies for their corporate and societal excellence.  The first awards will be given at our 2016 Annual General Meeting on April 22.

 

Since 2013, we have advanced our CSR goals through an annual charity partnership, which aims to promote the chosen organization’s initiatives among AmCham’s members and encourage them to participate in the partner’s projects benefiting the community.   For three years (2013-2015), the Yellow Ribbon Fund was our charity of the year.

 

We are pleased to announce that we have selected the South East Community Development Council (SE CDC) as our charity partner for 2016. Under the dedicated stewardship of Dr. Mohamad Maliki bin Osman,  Mayor of the South East District of Singapore and Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the SE CDC is a tireless advocate for ‘Community Bonding’ and assisting members of the community who are in need. Together with its partners, the SE CDC supports and facilitates a variety of social projects.  We look forward to a fruitful partnership with the Southeast CDC!

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AMCHAM UPDATES

This blog features event recaps, updates on the latest happenings at AmCham, and commentaries from the AmCham staff