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UOB connects businesses to opportunities in Asia

Oct 26, 2017

With the rise of intra and inter-regional trade in Asia, United Overseas Bank (UOB) is well positioned to connect businesses to opportunities in Asia.

Created in 1935 to serve the needs of the overseas Chinese merchant community in Singapore, UOB has expanded its presence across Asia in line with the regional growth ambitions of its clients. Today, UOB is one of the world’s strongest banks and has an integrated network across 19 countries and territories, from which it helps clients to identify and to seize opportunities.

Over the last eight decades, the bank’s experience and local presence have given it a firsthand understanding of what it takes to build a sustainable business in the region.

In 2011, UOB set up a dedicated unit to help businesses plan and execute their regional expansion strategies. Its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Advisory team was initially based in Singapore. It has since been building an ecosystem of partners able to support its clients, including government agencies, trade and investment associations and professional services providers such as legal, audit and accounting firms across the region.

UOB Plaza: the headquarters of Singapore banking giant United Overseas Bank

The unit has now expanded to include FDI Centres in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Vietnam and India. In 2015, the bank also received approval to offer its regional FDI advisory services to Japanese companies venturing out of their home country.

As part of helping companies navigate the complexities of the diverse operating environments in Asia, UOB has signed strategic partnerships with key government agencies, including the Singapore Economic Development Board, International Enterprise Singapore, the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board and China’s leading trade organization, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

These partnerships have been integral to providing companies with practical guidance on how to set up and to run their local operations successfully.

Since 2011, UOB has engaged and supported more than 2,000 companies from around the world in their expansion into and across Asia. While 82 percent of these companies are homegrown in Asia, UOB has observed an increasing number of companies from the United States and Europe seeking its FDI Advisory services.

Last year alone, the UOB’s FDI Centres facilitated more than S$27 billion of business flows into Southeast Asia as companies invested in the region’s fast-moving consumer goods, natural resources and building and construction industries.

More than 40 percent of these business flows were directed through Singapore, reinforcing the nation’s strategic importance as an international business center and launchpad to the region.

Singapore 2017 was prepared for and originally printed in Foreign Affairs magazine.

PDF of the printed report

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