AmCham opens expanded office in Orchard

The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham) officially opened its expanded office at Shaw Centre in Orchard Rd yesterday.

The chamber, which has expanded into two units adjacent to its original office, said the larger office signalled its confidence in the growth of the American business community here. It said it was not looking to increase its headcount of 17 full-time staff.

AmCham, which helps its members network with government and business partners, has around 5,000 members representing more than 750 companies. It said it was the largest foreign business chamber here.

The United States Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar said on the sidelines of the opening ceremony that Singapore played a unique and pivotal role in helping American companies expand into the region.

Many American companies often invested through Singapore into regional countries that were "not as evolved" in their legal systems, because of Singapore's "stability, transparency and rule of law", he noted.

Many investors also relied on knowledge from Singaporeans or Singapore firms to invest in China, Indonesia and India.

"Singapore is the single largest foreign direct investor into three most attractive yet complicated markets in the world - China, Indonesia and India," Mr Wagar said.

"So to (invest in these markets) you either do it as an American company with Singaporean employees to help you with insight, or you partner in a strategic relationship with a Singapore company. Where else can you do that?"

Mr Wagar noted that the US invested more in Singapore than Japan, Australia and China combined for these reasons. As at last year, the value of the US' investment in Singapore stood at US$179 billion (S$257 billion).

He said that firms in knowledge industries such as Google, Facebook and Amazon would find Singapore attractive because their intellectual property would be protected.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2016, with the headline 'AmCham opens expanded office in Orchard'. Print Edition | Subscribe