SIF Celebrates 10 Years of Singapore-China Friendship with Commemorative Book Launch

Singapore, 17 September 2014 – The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) has fostered greater Singapore-China ties over the past decade through its Young Business Ambassadors (YBA) programme. Started in 2004, the exchange programme provides young business professionals from Singapore and Shanghai the opportunity to work and live in each other’s cities for periods of up to 12 weeks. To date, the YBA programme has nurtured a network of 90 alumni, with over 50 host organisations from the two countries.

To mark the 10th anniversary of this exchange, the SIF together with partner Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SPAFFC) launched a commemorative book, A Decade of Business Exchanges, A Lifetime of Friendships today in an event graced by Guest-of-Honour, Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State for Ministry of Communications and Information.

Written in both English and Chinese, the book features the perspectives and experiences of 17 Chinese and 15 Singaporean YBAs, as well as four company representatives from host organisations. Their stories provide valuable insights to the cultural exchanges and strong friendships formed between Chinese and Singaporeans through their decade of participation in the programme.

“The programme has strengthened both professional and personal ties between the peoples of Singapore and China but what’s really heartening is how the friendships have blossomed into partnerships to do good. In 2013, a group of Singaporean and Chinese YBA alumni came together to help in reconstruction efforts in earthquake-ravaged Sichuan, volunteering to rebuild homes for families affected by the disaster. And for SIF, that’s what we are about, harnessing the power of networks to enrich lives and effect positive change” said Jean Tan, SIF’s Executive Director.

Gracing the celebrations, Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State for Ministry of Communications and Information, said, “SIF’s YBA programme, has helped nurture meaningful relationships between young business leaders in Singapore and China over the past decade. Young business leaders have the opportunity to live and work in each others’ cities and be immersed in each others’ culture. Many of the YBA alumni have shared that they have formed valuable friendships and gained a deeper understanding of their counterparts. I believe this has contributed to closer links between two countries.”

This year, there will be 13 new participants, making the tenth batch the largest YBA cohort to date. The exchange will take place from 17 September to 2 December, 2014.



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