Emerging markets 'still worth exploring'

PHOTO: Emerging markets 'still worth exploring'

SINGAPORE - Emerging markets in Europe and central Asia still offer opportunities for Singapore businesses despite uncertainty in larger European economies, said a leading global banker on Monday.

The need for these nations to develop infrastructure and get on with urban planning fits well with the sectors in which Singapore companies are strong, said Sir Suma Chakrabarti, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Economic fundamentals of many emerging economies in the region have improved since the global financial crisis, he added.

Sir Suma, who was previously the permanent secretary at Britain's Ministry of Justice, was here for a dialogue organised by trade agency International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.

The event brought together 25 representatives from Singapore companies, spanning the finance, food, technology and urban solutions sectors.

"Singapore companies have the right set of skills to raise standards and transfer expertise to these markets as they develop," said Sir Suma.

EBRD and IE Singapore also signed a memorandum of understanding to help companies here identify opportunities in emerging European markets, particularly Russia and Turkey.

Sectors of particular interest include information and communications technology, transport, power and energy, as well as urban development.

IE Singapore chief executive Teo Eng Cheong said Turkey has the potential to become a hub linking Europe and Asia, thanks to its strategic location.

Singapore's PSA International already has a presence there in the form of a stake in Turkey's Mersin International Port.

Mr Teo added that the region, with its "highly-skilled, well-educated workforce and enterprises", is a favourable environment for Singaporean investment.


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