Global Entrepreneurship Forum draws top speakers

Updated 03 November 2014
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Global Entrepreneurship Forum draws top speakers

The first Global Business Entrepreneurship Forum took center stage on Monday with local and global speakers addressing the participants, with The Centennial Fund (TCF) GM Abdulaziz H. Al-Mutairi welcoming them.
He earlier told Arab News that TCF Chairman Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, also the deputy foreign minister, hoped to engender global entrepreneurship among young Saudi male and female youth.
“Deputy Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, TCF's chairman of the board of directors, hopes that young entrepreneurs will grow by going global,” he said. TCF was created by a royal decree.
Al-Mutairi, also a member of TCF's board of directors, thanked the participants and the global speakers who had traveled far and wide to attend the event.
Andrew Devenport, the Prince's Youth Business International (YBI) CEO, said: “From its very formation, the Centennial Fund became a leader of Youth Business International (YBI) network and it has been a privilege for me and my team to serve it for the past decade.”
He said that the role of international organizations in supporting entrepreneurship depends on the particular goals of that support and the context in which it is given. Devenport said that it's very fashionable to talk about entrepreneurial ecosystem and it is a good way of representing the complexity of support necessary to foster successful societies.
“Good national entrepreneur support initiatives invariably draw on the synergies of international help. The role of international partners is to share best practice, to act as disseminators of the experience of other national initiatives and must add value and efficiency to the process that a national initiative could always undertake itself,” Devenport added.
Citing an example, he said that the Centennial Fund made great care to build a robust set of IT systems and processes before it opened its doors to its first young entrepreneurs.
Citing another example, he said: “Abdulaziz (Al-Mutairi) and I were fortunate enough to attend the Clinton Global Initiative a few years ago. We used the occasion with former US President William Clinton to launch together a commitment of focus on youth entrepreneurship in the MENA.”
As a result, he added, “we have been able to extend our network in Tunisia and Jordan as we have plans in progress in Morocco, the UAE and Lebanon.” Gregoire Sentilhes, NextStage chairman and CEO, spoke on the Vital role of entrepreneurs in job creation.
Sentilhes, also the co-founder and chairman of Citizen Entrepreneurs in France, said that there's a need to “design and build the new players in the 21st century economy both in the developed and developing countries.”
He noted that 85 percent of jobs in the European Union (EU) were created by entrepreneurs, 66 percent in the OECD and 57 percent were created by the fastest growing entrepreneurs.
South Korea's Michael Lee, who runs his own business organization, spoke about the role of international organizations in supporting entrepreneurship.
He said that entrepreneurs absorb ideas when they go overseas but they must stick to their own ecosystem.
Answering a question on entrepreneurship among young women, Lama Sulaiman, a Saudi board member of Rolaco Holdings in the Kingdom and Luxembourg, said that women are as capable as men as entrepreneurs.
She's also the vice-chairwoman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry and owner of the Chamelle Health Club for women in Jeddah.
Randah Bessiso, founding director of the Middle East Center at the Manchester Business School in the University of Manchester, said that women entrepreneurs could work collaboratively with men counterparts.
Christin Peiffer, secretary general of the International Network for SMEs since January 2012, also participated in the panel discussions.


Singapore woes ring trade alarm bells

Singapore has long been viewed as a barometer of the global demand for goods and services. (AFP)
Updated 22 July 2019
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Singapore woes ring trade alarm bells

  • Governments have slashed economic growth forecasts, and gauges in several countries measuring activity in the manufacturing and services sectors paint a bleak picture

SINGAPORE: A plunge in exports and the worst growth rates for a decade have fueled concerns about the outlook for Singapore’s economy, with analysts saying the figures offer a warning that Asia is heading for a slowdown as China-US tensions bite.
While it may be one of the smallest countries in the world, the export hub is highly sensitive to external shocks and has long been viewed as a barometer of the global demand for goods and services.
The affluent city-state is highly dependent on trade and has traditionally been one of the first places in Asia to be hit during global downturns — with ripples typically spreading out across the region. The latest signs are not good. In June, exports collapsed 17.3 percent from a year earlier, the fastest decline in more than six years, led by a fall in shipments of computer chips.
That followed a shock 3.4 percent quarter-on-quarter contraction in GDP in the second quarter. Year-on-year growth came in at just 0.1 percent, the slowest pace since 2009 during the global financial crisis.
“Singapore is the canary in the coal mine,” Song Seng Wun, a regional economist with CIMB Private Banking, told AFP. “And what it tells us is that it is a tough environment.”
To warn of danger, miners used to bring caged canaries underground with them as the birds would die in the presence of even a small amount of poisonous gas — signaling to workers that they should make a swift exit.

BACKGROUND

In June, exports in Singapore collapsed 17.3 percent from a year earlier, the fastest decline in more than six years, led by a fall in shipments of computer chips.

While steadily weakening growth in China is partly to blame for a slowdown in exports, analysts say the trade war between the US and China has dramatically worsened the situation.
While Singapore — a transit point for products heading to and from Western markets as well as the Asian base for manufacturers of some hi-tech goods — may be showing the strain most, negative data has emerged throughout the region.
Exports have been slipping across Asia. In India they plummeted 9.7 percent in June, in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, they dropped 8.9 percent in the same month while in South Korea they slipped 10.7 percent in May.
Governments have slashed economic growth forecasts, and gauges in several countries measuring activity in the manufacturing and services sectors paint a bleak picture.
Central banks are moving to spur domestic consumption, with Indonesia and South Korea cutting interest rates Thursday, the latest in Asia to lower borrowing costs.
Singapore’s central bank is seen as likely to ease monetary policy at an October meeting, and some economists are predicting the country could fall into recession next year.
“There are no winners in this trade war. While most of the attention has focused on the trade conflict between China and the US, the damage has not been confined to these two economies,” business consultancy IHS Markit said in a commentary.