On the first day of the Lunar New Year (5 February 2019), Business China held its annual Lunar New Year Gathering at the Trade Association Hub at Jurong Town Hall. This is the second consecutive year which Business China has co-hosted the gathering with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI). Over 600 senior government officials, diplomats, as well as leaders from the business, cultural and community organisations and trade associations attended the event.
During his opening remarks, Business China Chairman Mr Lee Yi Shyan said that the Business China Internship Programme is expected to be implemented this year, following his announcement last year on its establishment. The Internship Programme would facilitate youths from Singapore and China to engage in internship opportunities in each other’s country, enhancing their mutual understanding and broadening the network of Singapore-China-savvy talents. The Internship Programme garnered strong support from senior leaders and government officials of both countries. During his speech at the 44th Singapore Lecture, co-organised by Business China and ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Chinese Premier Mr Li Keqiang underscored his support for youth exchange in the form of internships.
Business China will set up a specialised online portal to publish a list of companies with internship opportunities available in Singapore and China. Youths from both countries can use this platform to seek out internship opportunities. Conventionally, youth internship and corporate attachment were only available through schools. Through the Business China Internship Programme, youths can secure internships directly via the portal.
In his speech, Mr Lee Yi Shyan also spoke about Business China’s flagship programme – the FutureChina Global Forum (FCGF). FCGF 2018 was successfully concluded with the strong support from the Singapore Business Federation. This year, Business China will collaborate with Temasek Foundation for the first time, with FCGF 2019 taking place on 7 June 2019 as an anchor event of the Temasek Ecosperity Week (4 to 7 June 2019). The theme of FCGF this year is "Sustainable Development in a Dynamic World Order".
A special feature of FCGF 2019 is its emphasis on youths. A sub-forum fully organized by the Business China Youth Chapter will also be held in parallel with the FCGF 2019. Youth leaders from around the region will convene at this youth forum to discuss future developments, in line with the theme of FCGF 2019. That evening, Business China will host the 9th Business China Awards (BCA) Ceremony. The Awards is to recognise individuals and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of Singapore-China relations.
Minister Vivian: Companies need to be entrepreneurial and adventurous to seize new opportunities
Guest-of-honour Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, began his speech in Chinese to a rousing round of applause. He extended his best wishes for the New Year to the attendees, and gave an overview on foreign relations and macroeconomic developments. He cautioned that Singapore’s economy would be affected by many uncertainties, such as the looming trade war between the US and China. He also underscored the challenges brought about by technological disruption. Minister Vivian Balakrishnan pointed out that companies and individuals need to be entrepreneurial and adventurous, and seize new opportunities while remaining resilient. He also urged businesses to continue diversifying partnerships by building deeper linkages across ASEAN.
Business China Director and SCCCI President Ronald Ng: Younger professionals helming SCCCI Council
Mr Roland Ng, Business China Board Director and SCCCI President, said in his speech that after more than a century of evolution, SCCCI has extended the term of its Council from two to three years, to allow Council Members to have more time to plan and carry out its work. The 60th SCCCI Council, which will be sworn into office on 15 March, would include members of a younger age and from a more diverse professional background. Mr Roland Ng emphasised that over the next three years, the Council would build on the foundation laid by its forefathers and in line with Government policies, continue to develop SCCCI and companies, and promote the spirit and culture of Singapore Chinese entrepreneurs.