About 50 businessmen and more than 100 specialists of Vietnam and Singapore attended the “Connecting Business 2.0” event held by the Association of Vietnamese Professionals in Singapore (Vietnam2020) on July 27.

“Connecting Business 2.0 is an initiative by the Vietnam2020 Enterprise Family to connect the leading small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Vietnam, especially in the Infocomm sector, with the investment and business community from Singapore,” Vo Hoang Hai, Project Director of Connecting Business 2.0, told Vietnam News Agency’s Singapore-based reporter.

He added that Vietnam2020 Enterprise Family hopes to grow into a platform for businesses in the two countries to explore partnership opportunities and to facilitate the business connection and economic ties between the two countries.

Opening the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Tran Hai Hau said that although Singapore ranks among the top investors in Vietnam, only a small percentage from private and venture capital funds are pouring money in this country. He said there is much room for growth in Vietnam, a market with around 90 million people with more than 40 percent being young, under 25. Therefore, Connecting Business 2.0 is a good initiative to connect Vietnamese businesses with private equity and venture investment funds from Singapore .

Gary Ng, Managing Director of CLSA Capital Partners (Singapore) Pte Ltd, told VNA’s reporter that Vietnam is a great market for long-term investment and that his company “can invest about 20 million USD in projects in Vietnam, mostly in education, health care and consumer”. He revealed that attending Connecting Business 2.0 event, he hopes to find good companies to invest in.

Besides CLSA Capital Partners, Connecting Business 2.0 was joined by 10 Singaporean companies including the IP Intermediary – a non-profit public company set up in 2011 as part of the Singapore Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2015 Plan to contribute to the Innovation and Enterprise ecosystem in Singapore.

The event also saw the participation of 15 other funds such as Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, Vertex Venture Management, CLSA Capital Partners, General Atlantic, OWW Capital Partners, Intel Capital, Tembusu Partners, Azione Capital & CIMA, and more than 20 Vietnamese businesses.

Nguyen Hoa Binh, Chairman and CEO of PeaceSoft Group from Vietnam, said that by attending Connecting Business 2.0, he would like to find potential Singaporean companies and funds for joint ventures to introduce PeaceSoft’s products for application beyond Vietnam, including Singapore.

During the one-day event, more than 20 one-to-one private meetings between companies and their prospective partners and investors, one panel discussion and four seminars were held on relevant topics, including opportunities and challenges of Vietnamese SMEs investment market for Singaporean companies, guidance on how to invest in Vietnam and Singapore government’s schemes to support technology-based companies and start-ups.-VNA