YBAs Maintain Business Links between S’pore and China

Twelve young outstanding working professionals got to work and live overseas for 11 weeks as part of our Singapore-China Young Business Ambassadors (YBA) 2012 Programme.

Launched in 2000, the YBA Programme has, to date, nurtured an alumni of more than 80 YBAs from Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai and Singapore.

With the aim of giving young business professionals exposure to the operating and social environment in a different global city, the programme kicked off with an appointment ceremony held at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore on 19 September.

During the weeks that followed, six Singaporeans and six Chinese nationals swapped work desks to experience working life in a different cultural and economic setting.

Nominated by their respective companies, the participants hailed from a variety of sectors such as banking, the arts, urban development and the newly-introduced media and aviation sectors. This year also saw an increase in the number of participants, from eight to 12.

Zhu Yemei, one of the Chinese YBAs, appreciated the chance to immerse herself in Singapore’s working culture and society. An Assistant Business Development & Business Analysis Manager at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, she was attached to Singapore Airport Terminal Services Ltd.

While the 31-year-old participated in business exchanges and expanded her network in Singapore, she was also glad to be able to gain insights into the city state few really understand. When she went for a one-week orientation with the other Chinese YBAs of Singapore, she visited various places to understand how and why Singapore works.

“We discovered that Singapore is well-known not only for economic reasons. What also impressed me was the country’s diverse eco-system at Sungei Buloh,” Yemei said on the sidelines of the Singapore-China YBA appointment ceremony. The Chinese participants had earlier visited Singapore’s wetland nature reserve on a tour hosted by the National Parks Board.

Singaporean Lok Sok Ming, on her part, had looked forward to working, learning and gaining a better understanding of how a different international media organisation operates. The 34-year-old is an Assistant Director in Enterprise Development at Media Development Authority of Singapore, and was attached to Shanghai Wings Media Co Ltd.

During her stint in Shanghai, she engaged in “develop[ing] friendships and foster[ing] collaborations between Singapore and China media companies”, and participating in the networking opportunities provided by the YBA Programme.

Sok Ming’s Chinese counterpart, Li Lei, echoed her sentiments and shared his thoughts at the YBA farewell ceremony for the Chinese participants, which was held at SIF’s office on 23 November. “Working with MDA afforded me the opportunity to meet several third-party media vendors in Singapore, whom I would otherwise never have met,” adding that he had identified several opportunities for collaboration between Chinese and Singaporean media companies, and would be returning to Singapore to attend a forum on the challenges of TV production in China.

The programme’s closing ceremony was held in Shanghai on 28 November, and marked the eighth complete run of the Singapore-China YBA programme. It was attended by Singapore Consul-General Ong Siew Gay and distinguished representatives of the SIF’s Shanghainese partners. SIF Governor Professor Cham Tao Soon represented SIF, giving a speech to the participants and calling on them to share the new perspectives they had learned.

Launched in 2000, the YBA Programme has, to date, nurtured an alumni of more than 80 YBAs from Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai and Singapore. In the pipeline are plans to grow the YBA programme to other cities.

Find out more about our YBA Programme here.

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