IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and International Enterprise Singapore, part of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday to jointly identify growth sectors in Africa for Singapore-based companies to invest in and to share business leads and opportunities through partnerships.
The signing took place on the sidelines of the two-day Africa Singapore Business Forum, which opened on Wednesday. The forum is hosted by International Enterprise Singapore to provide a platform for Singaporean and other Asian companies to connect with potential business partners from Africa.
“Africa, with its growing middle class, holds many promising opportunities for investors, while Singapore has strong expertise in urban and industrial planning, transport, agribusiness and information communications technology,” said IFC Singapore Country Manager Babatunde Onitiri. “IFC’s strong network and Singaporean enterprises’ technical expertise will help create a competitive edge in supporting Africa’s economic development.”
Lim Ban Hoe, group director for Middle East and Africa at International Enterprise Singapore, said its partnership with IFC will help Singaporean companies overcome initial hurdles in engaging business partners in Africa, a diverse continent with 54 countries.
“The memorandum of understanding allows us to bring together Singapore’s expertise in key sectors, and the extensive developmental experience that a multilateral organization like IFC has in Africa. This partnership will unlock the potential of the African growth story and translate it into tangible and impactful projects for mutual growth,” Lim said.
IFC opened its office in Singapore in September 2011 to tap the city state’s experience in urban and infrastructure development. The move is part of IFC’s initiative to pave the way for successful Asian companies to grow their businesses in emerging countries while benefiting local economies.