For such a small destination, Singapore stays ahead of the game in many different fields in the region, including international business events. Angela Antrobus reports…

Leading the way in Asia

Singapore’s first-class healthcare system, medical experts, enviable education reputation, prosperity, highly regarded business community and significance in the world of logistics, trade and transport mean that the city-state punches well above its weight, to use a cliché.

It’s also a popular destination for hosting international association meetings, triggered by its strengths in so many important areas of modern-day life.

Recognising that Singapore is renowned for innovation and business leadership, the YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) Global Leadership Conference (GLC) and its flagship event YPO EDGE came back to Singapore last March, once again to Marina Bay Sands, after just six years, making it the only Asian city ever to host the YPO more than once.

Founded in 1950, the YPO now has more than 25,000 members who meet around the world and this year more than 2,800 of them from over 90 countries attended. “The island had no natural resources when it gained independence in 1965,” says Terry O’Connor, host city chair for the conference. “It had to build itself up from scratch and created a thriving economy based solely on its people and their skills and work ethic. Now it is a global city with exciting features.”

Following the GLC, the EDGE proved to be two days of non-stop learning and connecting with business leaders through thought-provoking plenaries, 33 concurrent sessions, networking breaks and evening socials that showed off the best of the city.

During the four-day event week, Marina Bay Sands was transformed into the home of the YPO, with the organisation’s branding displayed extensively across the property, including the hotel lobby and Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

The Young Presidents’ Organisation in plenary

The group occupied a total of 7,736 room nights, the delegates and their partners having the opportunity to stay in newly renovated rooms across all three hotel towers, dine at the latest signature restaurants, enjoy specially curated experiences at The Shoppes and visit updated attractions such as Spectra, the new nightly light and water show.

Another sector in which Singapore excels is aerospace and transport. Investment in its world-class infrastructure includes the Airport Logistics Park in Changi Airport’s free trade zone. The new Changi Jewel, a mixed-use complex linking terminals one, two and three and described as ‘a world-class life-style destination’, will open in January and, looking further ahead, the new terminal five is set to be one of the world’s biggest airport terminals.

Singapore is also a strategically positioned global hub seaport connected to 600 ports in over 120 countries, making it the ideal Asian gateway for global leaders in shipping finance, ship broking, risk management and marine insurance.

Next October, Singapore will host the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) World Congress, an annual event providing a platform for government transport agencies, industry players and academic/research institutions to exchange information, share views and review the latest global ITS products, technological achievements and upcoming trends.

Up to 10,000 delegates will meet in Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre which was modernised four years ago to become one of the world’s most technologically advanced venues. “Singapore clearly demonstrated an energy and enthusiasm and support from all parts of industry and government to be able to hold a truly world-class event in 2019,” says Dean Zabrieszach, board member of ITS Asia Pacific.


Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau

T: +65 6736 2000


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