01 Jun 2018
REMARKS BY THE AMBASSADOR OF SINGAPORE, H.E. TAN HUNG SENG AT THE COCKTAIL RECEPTION ON 18 JUNE 2011 AT DUSIT THANI LAKEVIEW CAIRO
A very good evening distinguished guests, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to welcome all of you to this evening's reception. I would like to extend a special welcome to the participants of the inaugural Real Estate Executive Development Programme that is jointly organised by the AUC and the Department of Real Estate of the National University of Singapore (NUS). I realise that you have just completed a long day of lectures given by Professor Joseph Ooi of NUS who is also here with us. So I will not bore you with another lecture but please allow me to make three points.
First, I want to congratulate AUC and NUS for its partnership in designing and running the Real Estate Executive Development Programme. AUC and NUS represent two well-established academic institutions from the Middle East and Asia and there is tremendous scope to expand mutually beneficial collaboration. I cannot think of a better way to enhance people-to-people relations between Egypt and Singapore than through the sharing of experiences. In this regard, I am glad that AUC's Executive Development Programme has included a week-long field visit to Singapore. I trust that the short visit had allowed the participants to not only benefit professionally but also gain a better understanding and appreciation of Singapore as a cosmopolitan city-state with a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society. I certainly look forward to the presentation by Mr Yehia Aboul Wafa on the group's impressions of Singapore later on.
Second, I am delighted that there is interest in learning about Singapore's experience in real estate development. As a city-state that is only about 720 sq km in size, Singapore has, since our independence in 1965, paid special attention to careful master-planning, urban renewal and re-development. Thankfully, Singapore has succeeded in achieving sustainable and balanced urban re-development. Given the scarcity of land, our city planners have no choice but to take a long-term, comprehensive and innovative approach when designing the urban landscape of Singapore. We must ensure that Singapore can continue to provide a comfortable, conducive and vibrant environment to accommodate a projected population of 6.5 million by 2050. Hence, Singapore's physical landscape has and will continue to evolve.
Finally, I am encouraged that the Real Estate Executive Development Programme has attracted participants from many leading Egyptian real estate companies. It reflects the commitment of the Egyptian real estate sector to invest in training and upgrading its executives. I also hope that the programme will become a gateway for your companies to establish mutually beneficial relationships with potential Singapore partners in the future. The Middle East has emerged as an exciting area for Singapore companies over the last few years. While the current political turmoil in the region may have temporarily dampened business sentiments, I believe that many companies will take a long-term view of the region's exciting economic potential. The astute businessman will always see opportunities in the midst of problems. In this regard, I am pleased to inform you that we have just established the ASEAN-Egypt Business Association (AEBA) to promote networking and raise awareness of the business opportunities in Egypt for companies from ASEAN and vice versa. For those who may not be aware, ASEAN is the acronym for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which consists of 10 countries in the region. The AEBA is an exciting initiative and has the strong support of the ASEAN Embassies in Cairo. I hope that some of the companies represented here today will consider joining the AEBA once its membership details have been formalised.
It leaves me now to thank you for joining us and I wish you a most enjoyable evening. Thank you.