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Dezan Shira & Associates, Singapore Business Federation launch “Services & Investment Opportunities in ASEAN” Guidebook

Our Business Intelligence team, led by Pritesh Samuel, concluded a comprehensive new guide on “Services & Investment Opportunities in ASEAN & ASEAN+1 FTAs”. This was published by the Singaporean Business Federation (SBF) to guide Singaporean service providers in expanding their operations in ASEAN. 

On Monday, 31 August, 2023, a guide produced by DSA’s BI team was launched by the SBF. With full recognition of our long-standing experience of helping investors expand their operation in Asia, the SBF has dedicated this publication to Singaporean firms in sectors like telecommunications and public services who want to expand across the ASEAN region and want to understand which destination is best suited  to their business model.   

As a firm with long-standing consulting experience in Asia, a very important part of our work for clients is enabling informed investment decisions. We do this by providing high-quality information about each market, including free trade agreements, tax schemes, legal framework, and global integration. This is why we’ve been honored to support this project.   

As an APEX business chamber, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), guides Singaporean firms through their internationalization process, advocating for the interests of the Singapore business community in the areas of trade, investment and industrial relations. It represents more than 29,000 companies, as well as key local and foreign business chambers. It also works closely with local authorities, such as the Ministry of Investment. Providing guidance and information for their members is a crucial part of their mission and we are very proud to partake in this project.  

Pritesh Samuel, Head of our Business Intelligence team, summarized the process: “When discussing this with the SBF, we were humbled by their trust, as no other country in the region is as supportive of entrepreneurial excellence as Singapore. Our cross-regional team based in Vietnam, Indonesia, and India was thrilled with the opportunity. After months of dedication, we are confident that this publication will undoubtedly be the most exhaustive overview and summary of ASEAN and ASEAN+1 FTAs to date.”  

At the official launch event, the SBF welcomed 50 delegates from member firms at the SBF Centre in Singapore. It was also attended by members of the press and delegates from the German Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.  

Ms. Lei Jia Hui of the Ministry of Trade and Industry opened the session by outlining the efforts of the Singaporean government to conclude more FTAs and to further improve existing FTAs. She also underlined the importance of clear policies to further facilitate trade, reduce barriers, and improve efficiency. Ivy Heng, Assistant Director of the SBF, then provided an overview of the trade in services. 

David Stepat, Senior Manager at Dezan Shira & Associates Singapore, then presented the most important facts and figures from the guide and explained how to use it in practice. 

David commented: “Singapore, recognized as a dynamic powerhouse within Asia’s advanced economies, derives a substantial 70 percent of its GDP from the thriving services sector. This naturally positions the realm of service trade, facilitated by Singapore’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), as a focal point for potential growth. Our team at Dezan Shira and Associates was genuinely excited to work with the Singapore Business Federation to extend valuable support to local businesses embarking on their global journey. The resulting guidebook stands as an inclusive repository of comprehensive insights and practical wisdom, tailored to empower Singaporean enterprises in their pursuit of international expansion. 

The outcome of our unwavering dedication is a publication that intricately weaves together insights into ASEAN investments, spotlighting Singapore’s pivotal role as the primary investor in dynamic economies like India and Vietnam. This guidebook stands as a living testament to the remarkable impact of collaboration, serving as an illuminating source of knowledge for those navigating the intricate terrain of Southeast Asian investments.” 

The seminar was concluded with a Q&A session and informative discussion with the participants over refreshments in the lobby.  

For more information about the SBF guide, “Services & Investment Opportunities in ASEAN & ASEAN+1 FTAs”, please visit the website of the Singapore Business Federation or contact Ms. Raghini Munusamy to receive a physical copy.  

We are looking forward to assisting more firms to expand into new markets in ASEAN. Our team in Singapore is at your disposal. 

For more information about our Business Intelligence capabilities please visit our website.  

Further Resources 

For further resources on Singapore’s business landscape, you can visit our website, ASEAN Briefing, where you can find articles and webinars such as our guide, “An Introduction to Doing Business in Singapore” and more:  



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