The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham) hosted the 2015 APCAC Business Summit, an annual meeting of American chambers of commerce across the Asia-Pacific region, from March 11 to 13.
U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar kicked off the Summit by hosting a reception commemorating Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence. Both he and Dr. Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of the Economic Development Board of Singapore, made remarks at the event. They each highlighted the importance of United States-Singapore bilateral ties and the benefits of continued cooperation.
Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang and Ambassador Wagar opened the conference on March 12 at Sands Expo & Convention Centre with keynote addresses focused on American investment in Singapore and the region. Ambassador Wagar emphasized the importance of America’s and American business’ engagement in Asia through increased economic cooperation, helping the region reach its economic goals, create jobs, develop infrastructure and enable new domestic enterprises. Minister Lim emphasized the value of the U.S. relationship with countries like Singapore where American companies have made significant contribution to Singapore’s economic development. Today, the U.S. is Singapore’s largest foreign direct investor with a direct investment stake of US$154 billion. Ambassador Wagar’s full speech can be found here and Minister Lim’s is available here.
The Summit’s theme, “The United States and Asia – New Opportunities in the Pacific Century,” built on previous summits’ themes about Asia’s growth and global influence. Keynote speaker Jim Rogers, Global Investor and Author of Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets, declared that the 21st century is Asia’s century. He also amazed attendees by stating that, if he could invest all his money in North Korea, he would.
The first day of the conference concluded with the Pacific Century Reception at Universal Studios Singapore where participants strolled along New York Street with its impressive city skylines and neon lights. Venue partner Resorts World Sentosa and wine sponsor Pengwine contributed to a sparkling evening.
On Friday morning, the day kicked off with the Competition for Capital: Asia as the Financial Hub of the Future panel. Then President and Chief Executive Officer, Marina Bay Sands and Managing Director – Global Development, Las Vegas Sands Corp. George Tanasijevich delivered his keynote address — The Business of Integrated Resorts. He described how the development of Marina Bay Sands has helped create thousands of jobs in Singapore and how it has quickly become an icon of the city.
Most people are aware that digital technology is now flooding every sector and disrupting old economy industries so the Innovation and Technological Disruption panel shared more on how technology has transformed markets.
The Summit ended on March 12 with a special session by U.S. Ambassador to Burma Derek J. Mitchell who provided his insights on the political, economic, and cultural changes taking place in Myanmar.
Please click here to view the full summit program.
AmCham Singapore would like to thank all the sponsors, partners, panelists, and delegates for making 2015 APCAC Business Summit such a great success!
Photo credits: Ryan Peters, Spectrum Photography