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U.S. Companies and Singapore Government Discuss Encouraging Innovation through Increased Partnerships

(Singapore) On April 11-12, a delegation of 10 leading U.S. companies organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council conducted a business mission to Singapore.  The delegation met with key government officials, as well as representatives of the business community.  The mission was led by Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council.

“Singapore has been in the leading edge with the Smart Nation initiative.  During the mission, we were able to learn more about this initiative and to hear from Singapore government officials on the 2016 Budget and the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE).  We also gained a better understanding of the merger between the media and infocomm authorities, and the combined agency’s eventual priorities and impact to industry”, said Ambassador Michalak. “We also discussed ways in which the American business community could partner with the Singapore government and businesses to help Singapore achieve its goals in cross-sector innovation and investment in human capital and R&D to advance the country as a regional leader.”

“Singapore is in a time of significant digital transformation,” said Karl Cox, vice president, global public affairs, Oracle, and Co-Chair, Singapore Committee, US-ASEAN Business Council.  “Through the Smart Nation initiative, the country is well-positioned to leverage next-generation technologies like cloud platforms, big data and fintech to reorient its economy toward innovation and growth. We are proud to help advance Singapore’s leadership in today’s data-driven economy by driving collaborations with U.S-based companies.”

Mission participants joined a business luncheon with the Singapore Media Development Authority CEO and Info-communications Media Development Authority CEO (Designate) Mr. Gabriel Lim, and representatives from the Cyber Security Agency, Government Technology Organisation, Personal Data and Protection Commission (PDPC), and the Ministry of Communications & Information.  The luncheon discussion covered the opportunities for companies to facilitate the development and strengthening of digital economies, along with a review of the need for a comprehensive policy framework around cutting edge technologies.  In addition to Mr. Lim, the delegation met with Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) Mr. S. Iswaran, who is also the CFE’s Deputy Chairman, and Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, who leads the CFE’s Subcommittee on Future Jobs and Skills.  During these meetings, the delegation discussed the CFE's work and priorities, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and ways that U.S. businesses can become more engaged in industry and education initiatives intended to spur increased innovation in Singapore’s economy. US business engagement continuity after the 2016 presidential elections in the US, as well as innovation in infrastructure and other sectors, were also on the agenda.

Companies that participated in the delegation included Committee Co-Chair Oracle, Apple, Cisco, HP Inc., Intel, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Nielsen, Philip Morris International, Seagate, and Time Warner.


For over 30 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's 150+ membership generates over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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