24 November 2016

IE Singapore and UOB to provide Singapore companies with help on internationalisation

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and United Overseas Bank (UOB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly help more Singapore companies in cross-border trade and internationalisation.

This marks IE Singapore’s first strategic partnership with a Singapore bank. The partnership will provide Singapore companies with customised trade and financing solutions, deeper access to in-market connections, business partners and professional service providers across Asia, including business tieups with UOB’s global clients.

The MOU was signed by Chua Taik Him, Deputy Chief Execut ive Officer (CEO), IE Singapore and Frederick Chin, Managing Director and Head of Group Wholesale Banking , UOB, witnessed by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Lee Ark Boon, CEO, IE Singapore and Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and CEO, UOB.

This collaboration taps the rising potential of ASEAN, especially in intra-regional trade. In the past five years, intra-ASEAN trade almost doubled from US$332 billion to US$600 billion in 2015, and total intra-ASEAN trade is expected to hit US$1 trillion in 2020, UOB said in a published report in 2015. The region’s growing middle income class, increasing connectivity and expansion of e-commerce will create greater demand for goods and services, which will in turn drive the increase in cross-border and B2B transactions.

In line with IE Singapore’s strategy to build and strengthen wholesale trade in Singapore, UOB will provide advisory and solutions on trade financing for Singapore companies expanding overseas. Both parties will also develop innovative initiatives and financial tools to ease the internationalisation process. This includes piloting new fintech solutions to raise cross-border trade efficiency.

In addition, UOB will offer a wide range of customised financial solutions, such as supply chain financing, cross-border financing, venture debt, cash management and settlement, as well as professional services including public listings, bond issuances and corporate finance advisory. These will help Singapore companies to overcome financing challenges that they may face when they internationalise.

Companies that will benefit from the IE Singapore-UOB collaboration include consumer-related sectors, business services, digital solutions, infrastructure, real estate, tourism, hospitality, logistics and trade. IE Singapore and UOB aim to assist 200 Singapore companies in their overseas expansion over the next three years, especially to Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Europe.

Said Chua Taik Him, Deputy CEO, IE Singapore, “This connectivity collaboration helps IE Singapore and UOB to reach out to more Singapore companies, offering them better market insights, business intelligence and a more comprehensive choice of financial solutions. Through strengthening such cross-border business infrastructure, we hope to drive the growth of wholesale trade and overseas expansion of Singapore companies.”

Frederick Chin, MD and Head of Group Wholesale Banking, UOB, said, “At UOB, we channel the same commitment that transformed us into a leading regional bank into helping companies fulfil their growth ambitions both domestically and in overseas markets. We do this by providing our unique combination of local presence and expertise, astute market insights, regional network connectivity and seamless cross-border solutions. Through our collaboration with IE Singapore, we will be able to deepen further our support of Singapore companies as they spread their wings overseas.”