Remarks by Professor Cham Tao Soon, Former SIF Governor, at the YBA 10th Anniversary Celebrations
Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State for Communications and Information, and for Education (MOS)
Mr Zhai Xingfu, Counsellor of Chinese Embassy in Singapore,
I am pleased to be part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Singapore-China Young Business Ambassadors (YBA) Programme.
I was fortunate to be able to participate in the program right from the beginning as a Governor of Singapore International Foundation (SIF). The arrangements for the attachments of the managers in the various companies have evolved over time. At the beginning, it was left to each side to select suitable candidates and the placements were completely arranged at the discretion of the receiving party. I recall I had to interview Singapore candidates to determine their suitability, based on their command of Chinese and Mandarin. I think the present system of arrangement, based on a mutual exchange between two companies, is much more satisfactory.
I am glad the interests and the range of companies participating in the programme have grown from strength to strength over the years which augers well for the future of the Singapore-China YBA program. During the presentations by candidates at the end of the attachment, I had observed that participants had gained a great deal from the program. Not only had they learned about the business practices in a different country, they had also got to know the different cultures. The friendships developed go a long way to build a strong relationship between the peoples of both countries. The YBA programme in recent years had expanded to include talented young professionals from industries such as arts and tourism. They are in the emerging fields relevant in this age for both countries.
I am glad to notice the program has generated a strong network of alumni irrespective of their own disciplines. This multi-disciplinary interaction will broaden their outlook above their own sectors. This is necessary for the globalised nature of future business practices.
Strong partnerships are also a critical success factor in the first ten years of the programme. For this, I have to thank colleagues from SPAFFC and SAFEA for sharing the same vision of strengthening people-to-people ties between Singapore and China by bringing outstanding young business professionals together, and my hope is for your continued support.
I also wish to use this occasion to thank SIF for nominating me for the Magnolia Silver Award given by Shanghai Municipal last year.
May the Singapore-China YBA program prosper further and lead to another successful ten years.
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