The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) invited Centre Director Amit Jain to join an overseas business mission to South Africa and Kenya to coincide with the first official visit of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the two African republics. He visited Johannesburg and Nairobi where he not only interacted with members of the delegation but also met representatives of several prominent African and international firms. This included global mining firm Anglo-American; ABSA bank; law firms Denton’s and Eversheds; supermarket outlet Chandarana FoodPlus; online shopping mart Kilimall; and shared workspace property brand Kofisi.
On the side-lines of his visit, Jain also met NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies research fellows Jaco Maritz and Patrick Maluki. He was hosted for lunch by Premeshin Naidoo, Head Middle East and Asia, Corporate and Investment Banking, ABSA bank and Vimal Shah, Chairman, Bidco. He also visited the state of the art US$200 million Bidco beverage manufacturing facility in Ruiru, Kenya as well as the Bidco refined cooking oil plant in Thika.
Speaking with Jain during a delegation interaction, Singapore Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth as well as Trade and Industry Alvin Tan invited the Centre and the Nanyang Business School to help operationalise a carbon credit agreement that Singapore and Kenya have signed. He applauded SBF, the Centre, and Wilmar International for their initiative to have a NBS student join the business delegation.
In Nairobi, the Centre Director moderated a ‘fireside’ panel discussion on the risk and promise of Doing Business in Africa. Panellists included George Chan, CEO of the China-Africa cross border payment gateway Pyxis Vault; Gregory Teo, Deputy GM, PIL; and Srivathsan Venkataramani, MD, Olam Global Agri. The three business leaders who come from very different sectors and have decades of experience working in various African geographies shared their learnings with those present.