In partnership with the Principality of Monaco Promotion Bureau in Singapore, Monaco Economic Board and SGMC Capital presented Monaco-Singapore synergies at a conference held at the Automobile Club on 23 September, in-person and live online via Zoom with simultaneous translation.
To present a broad panorama of investment opportunities in Singapore to Monaco entrepreneurs, Monaco Economic Board (MEB) and SGMC Capital, co-founded in Singapore by Monegasque Ruchdi Hajjar Jr, organised a conference at the Automobile Club on 23 September. “In many ways, Monaco is Singapore in Europe,” said MEB Executive Director General Guillaume Rose in his introduction, before handing over to Benoit Badufle, General Director of the Principality of Monaco Promotion Bureau in Singapore, speaking from the city-state.
Points in common include both states having secure stable jurisdictions for companies that attracts talented individuals to boost their business, cultural and social dynamic, while maintaining their own identity. Singapore was also inspired by Monaco to organise an urban Grand Prix, nicknamed the ‘Monaco Grand Prix of the Orient’.
Set up in 2015, this Principality of Monaco Promotion Bureau aims to provide a pivotal service for Monaco entities. “We have been loyally supporting them (MEB, Tourism & Convention Authority, Philharmonic Orchestra, Ballets de Monte-Carlo, etc.) in southeast Asia, China and South Korea since 2015,” said Benoit Badufle who offered to welcome Monaco entrepreneurs to Singapore.
Ruchdi Hajjar Jr, who is part of the expat network, Monaco Business Étranger*[CL1] , and his team then presented growth investment opportunities in Singapore where he has been settled for 12 years since establishing SGMC Capital, with the aim of “creating synergies between Monaco and Singapore”.
With GDP at $340 billion – GDP per capita of $60,000 in 2020 – this small island rivals Japan and South Korea. The statistics speak for themselves in this state of 5.6 million people benefiting from “a clear, secure and effective legal framework”. With $630 billion in imports and nearly $700 billion of exports, trade plays a central role in the economy.
Since being discovered by Sir Stamford Raffle in 1819, the former British colony, which gained independence in 1965, has established itself as an energy processing hub (oil and gas refining) and as one of the world’s leading financial centres with $3.5 trillion of assets under management in 2021.
Other strengths include biotech, R&D, aviation and tourism: “Changi Airport where your luggage waits for you, not where you wait for your luggage,” joked Ruchdi Hajjar Jr.
Massimiliano Bondurri, founder and CEO of SGMC Capital, stressed Singapore’s role as a gateway to Asia and talked about investment opportunities in China, particularly in the tech industry, and in Japan. When answering questions from the floor, both speakers again emphasised reinforcing synergies: “The bridges are real”.
*Monaco Business Étranger network
Run by Monaco Economic Board, this network aims to create a link between expatriate Monegasques, Enfants du Pays and foreigners having lived in the Principality and are doing business abroad. MEB has contacts with ambassadors and other representatives of Monaco’s dynamic economy for its international projects. It also has links with other networks and key stakeholders in Monaco’s economy.
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