A panel discussion at the Africa Singapore Business Forum in 2012 (Photo: straitstimes.com)

Algiers (VNA) – The fourth Africa – Singapore Business Forum is scheduled to take place in the Asian nation from August 24 – 25, touching upon Africa’s economic issues, Singapore’s competitive edge and bilateral cooperation.

G. Jayakrishnan, Group Director for the Middle East and Africa at International Enterprise Singapore – the forum organiser, said Singaporean businesses are being encouraged to set up partnerships with Africa’s State and private sectors.

Amid fast urbanisation, African countries have high demand for urban management and planning knowledge, along with solutions to public utilities (water, electricity), housing, transport and logistics services, which Singapore is strong in, he noted.

He stressed that the growing middle class in the continent will also create opportunities for Singaporean companies in the retail market there. Technology is another potential field for bilateral partnerships, such as payment solutions, e-learning and unmanned aerial vehicle technology for farmland monitoring.

First held in 2010, the biennial forum has drawn nearly 2,000 business and government leaders from 30 countries.

Singapore’s direct investment in Africa expanded by 5.9 percent every year between 2004 and 2014, reaching 22.1 billion USD by the end of 2014.

About 60 Singaporean enterprises, including Indorama, Olam, Tolaram and Wilmar, are operating in 50 African nations. Most of them work in agricultural materials, oil and gas, transport, logistics services, technology and urban infrastructure.-VNA