Latin Asia Business Forum 2017

Fri, 29 Sep, 2017, 1:30 PM - 7:00 PM (GMT+8)
PARKROYAL on Beach Road 7500 Beach Road Singapore 199591

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International Enterprise (IE) Singapore's Latin Asia Business Forum (LABF) is the premier platform for government and business leaders from Asia and Latin America & the Caribbean to foster closer business ties and partnerships.This edition will see a participation of approximately 300-350 delegates comprising foreign Ministers, Ambassadors, state government officials and prominent businessmen from Asia and Latin America & the Caribbean.

The Latin Asia Business Forum 2017 will examine how Latin America & the Caribbean and Asia can find new growth strategies, and mitigate the impact of volatility in light of the continuing challenges facing the global economy. The forum will focus on untapped Latin-Asia economic opportunities and the potential for even deeper engagement between both regions. 




  • Keynote Panel: Latin Asia Economic Partnership with Guest-of-Honour (GOH) Minister S Iswaran and prominent LAC representatives.
  • Network with business owners, decision makers, policy makers and government leaders from LAC and Asia.



Following a turbulent 2016, Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) is now at a turning point, with recovery expected to take hold this year. Brazil, LAC's largest economy, is also projected to emerge from its recession. New pro-business administrations of Argentina and Peru also form bright spots within LAC. Against this backdrop, GDP in LAC is expected to grow by 1.3% in 2017.

Addtionally, in light of the uncertainties in the US, countries such as Mexico are expected to turn towards Asia as part of their diversification strategies. This wave of change presents an opportunity for LAC and Asian businesses to forge close ties and unlock trade and connectivity linkages between the economies.


Registration and networking reception
Welcome remarks
Lee Ark Boon, CEO for IE Singapore

Opening Speech
Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade & Industry (Industry)

MOU Signing
1410  Keynote Panel: Latin Asia Economic Partnership*
Trade and investment ties between Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) region and Asia have strengthened, spurred on by closer trade linkages and government initiatives to ink more bilateral agreements.

Yet lately, advanced economies leaning towards inward looking trade policies. Shifting global developments and uncertainties within the USA will continue to impact the LAC economies. Case in point: once a driving force for further integration between both regions, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, underpinned by USA, may be fast fading into history.

There are still large untapped opportunities with LAC and it is imperative to keep trade ties open between LAC and Asia. The former is currently at a turning point, with recovery expected to take hold this year. LAC governments have also recognised that beyond macroeconomic policy adjustment, structural reforms are essential to support medium-term growth. Singapore can continue to play a part in strengthening the economic partnership between LAC and Asia. As a diversification strategy, Asia is an attractive market as it continues to outperform global growth performance and can support the development of a stronger LAC. 

This panel will discuss:
  • Critical issues facing Latin America & Caribbean and Asia moving forward, in light of current geo-political developments
  • Ways in which the Latin-Asia economic partnership can be deepened, despite the current wave of trade protectionism across some countries
  • How trade and economic policies will shape future policies for urban and social development?
1500Networking Tea
1530  Session I: Smart Solutions for Latin America & Caribbean Cities
Urbanisation and major smart infrastructure investments in LAC have largely contributed to the rise of smart cities, including in Bogota, Bueno Aires, Medellin, Mexico City and Santiago. Governments are moving beyond traditional urban planning approaches and embracing technology-driven innovations to sustain large cities. Coupled with a regional investment, of around US$100 billion per annum, it is no wonder that most cities are aspiring to go “smart”. With smart solutions, cities can address urban challenges for mobility, environment, and at the same time, seek new ways to ensure economic growth and job creations. Cities are also tapping on public and private partnerships to implement smart solutions, to enable better public services and utilities, to engage citizens and to make cities more liveable.
The smart city momentum is also growing extensively in Asia, and nations see smart solutions as a way to make the leap from emerging to developed economies. In China, the development of smart cities has been highlighted in China’s 12th and 13th five year plans. This initiative will provide a platform for the private sector to work with the Chinese government to develop holistic and scalable solutions to address challenges faced by fast-growing Chinese cities and to use technology to make cities more liveable.
Cities in Southeast Asia have also made varying progress based on their infrastructure, technical advancements and quality of human resources. Singapore is still in the early stages of building its version of a Smart City. Some of the notable smart services in Singapore lie within the urban mobility and e-Governance sector. The Smart Nation vision ideally seeks to harness ICT, networks and data to support better living and to alleviate today’s urban challenges of an aging and dense population.

This panel will discuss:
  • The rise in Smart LAC Cities in areas including environment, transport and e-government services
  • Opportunities for innovation collaboration and exchange of knowledge between Asia and LAC
  • Success stories in developing Smart Cities, and how these could be applied across cities from LAC to Asia and Singapore
  • How Singapore can partner foreign governments to support these developments?
Session II: Energy in Latin America & the Caribbean
Latin America & the Caribbean region is energy-rich by nature. It holds the world’s largest oil reserves from shale formations in Argentina, the pre-salt layer in Brazil, the world largest reserves in Venezuela to the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Within the Oil sector, Mexico’s energy reform has successfully allocated 41 fields for shallow water, deep water, and onshore exploration and production with international companies such as Total, Exxon Mobil, BHP Billiton, BP, Shell, Chevron, ChinaOil, Petronas and Mexican operating companies such as Petrobal, Sierra Oil and Gas, and Grupo R each securing fields. The total committed investment of US$49 billion is poised to spark new activities in the sector. 
The abundance of natural gas in the region significant opportunities for economic growth, partnership and investments in physical infrastructure, technology and regulatory know-how. For instance, Dominican Republic has successfully exported LNG to UK in Feb 2017. Other countries including Barbados, Colombia, Jamaica, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago are developing terminals, upgrading LNG infrastructure and looking at LNG imports for fuel oil substitution in their power plants.
Lastly, the renewable energy sector is increasingly fuelling power in LAC. The region is the world’s leader in clean energy and potential for the sector is large enough to cover its projected 2050 electricity needs 22 times over.

This panel will discuss:
  • How governments have adapted regulations and frameworks to create new opportunities and attract foreign investments?
  • The importance of diversifying into adjacent sectors, such as LNG and Renewables
  • There is also increasing focus to invest in Renewable Energy. What are the government’s short, medium and long-term plans for this sector?
Session III: Mapping the Latin-Asia Connectivity*
As a whole, the Latin America & Caribbean region (LAC) is already the largest net food exporting region in the world, and yet has only scratched the surface of its potential to expand agricultural production for global consumption and export. The region’s production prowess can be seen from the massive farms in Brazil to the meat packing plants of Argentina and Uruguay, the asparagus fields of Peru and the corn fields of Mexico.
Today, in Asia alone, the population of 4.4billion is equivalent to more than 50% of the total world population. Currently, 30% of the Asian population are from the middle income class, and rapid growth in China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia will cause Asia’s share of the new middle to more than double from today. By 2030, Asia will host 64% of the global middle class and account for over 40% of global middle-class consumption.
Advanced logistics, distribution and even ecommerce are crucial for making sure that LAC production goes from where it grows in abundance to where it doesn’t. Businesses and governments will have to work together to increase productivity, encourage innovation, and improve integration in supply chains toward a sustainable global food balance. Tapping on Singapore’s rising role as the key global hub for digital innovation, there remains room to advance in the space of digital connectivity, financing and innovation to facilitate greater trade between both regions.

This panel will discuss:
  • Rising Asian demand for LAC food and ways to uncover the vast untapped potential for greater trade flows between Asia and LAC
  • Opportunities for businesses and governments to work together on connectivity (logistics, supply chain) and regulatory issues to facilitate greater trade flows between both regions
  • Opportunities for Singapore as the hub in Southeast Asia to support the ecosystem and trade facilitation
1700Networking Cocktail
1900End of Event
Programme timing and schedule is subject to change. 
*Simultaneous translations will be available (English to Spanish & English to Portugese)




 Minister S Iswaran
 Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry)
 Republic of Singapore
image Salomón Chertorivski 
Economic Development for Mexico City
 Robert Yap

 Executive Chairman
 YCH Group
 Marcos Jank
 Chief Executive Officer
 Asia-Brazil Agro Alliance
 Susan Segal
 Chief Executive Officer
 Council of the Americas & Americas  Society
 Andres Osorio
 Managing Director
 Avianca Cargo
 Chan Han Meng
 Managing Director
 ADL Capital Group
 Eric Farnsworth

 Vice President
 Council of the Americas & Americas  Society

  Joe Poon
 Chief Technology Officer
 Managing Director

 Surbana Jurong 

  José Carrera
 Vice president of Social Development
 CAF, Development Bank of Latin  America 

 Juan Acra L
 Mexican Energy Council, COMENER
 Law Chung Ming
 Group Director, Transport & Logistics  Group
 International Enterprise (IE) Singapore 
 Michael Chia
 Managing Director (Marine)
 Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd  
 Nicholas Wee
 Chief Architect
 Sam Cheong
 Managing Director of Commercial Banking
 Head of Group Foreign Direct Investment  Advisory











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Entrance from Nicoll Highway is nearer to the Ballrooms

Latin Asia Business Forum 2017

Event Venue