New to South East Asia, first impressions
I moved to Singapore in October 2018, and the time has simply, and very stereotypically, just flown. It is very energizing to be in the middle of the region where business is booming. You are not suffering from the “doom and gloom” mentality that has been quite present at least in Finland, although the growth has been picking up lately. It is also v
Nordic companies in the region
Many Nordic companies are active in the region. Some have been here for a long time and many more are turning their heads towards it and starting to increase their focus on the region’s vast potential. Many companies that I have got to
Singapore – a central node and active with start-ups
Singapore has been dubbed to be the unofficial capital of South-East Asia, and there is no question why this has been so. It is geographically very centrally located and has been both
It is my first-impression that the Singapore government is pro-business and that they clearly have a plan to further develop Singapore in its current path. Nowhere else can this be seen more clearly than with the start-ups. The governmental initiatives together with all the events and seminars that are hosted here have created special activity in Singapore. Of course, many cities and nations are competing to be the one favoured by start-ups, but not many of them are ready to discuss or create legal sandboxes to test new disruptive business models and ideas.
This also goes for all business done in the region, that governments are targeting the investments and trying to create jobs. This is something that you hear from the sales activities done by Nordic corporations. It also seems that as a part of the sales story, you should not only focus on the first-class product you are offering but the environmental and social benefits that the solutions also
Global threats shadowing highly interlinked trade
We live nowadays in a highly interlinked global economy, especially here in South East Asia, where many countries are dependent on foreign trade. Some are still quite domestically focused and, in that sense, safer. Many would still be badly affected by negative developments in
In this challenging world we live in, it is good to see that some are still on the side of openness and cooperation. The excellent example of this is the fresh EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. It creates possibilities to share necessary capital, know-how and solutions for economies to be more effective and hopefully also more environmentally friendly in the future. This is also an opportunity for many Nordic corporations to lead by example and do business at the same time.
Jani Valtonen is a new member of the FBC Board and he moved to Singapore last year. He is an expert in international trade and financial markets working in Nordea Singapore and serving both institutional and corporate clients in the region as well as covering for the Nordics during the Asian business hours.