EU-Asean Business Council re-elects Eastspring's Donald Kanak as chairman

SINGAPORE - The EU-Asean Business Council (EU-ABC) has re-elected Donald Kanak as its chairman for a second two-year term, the council said in a press statement on Wednesday (June 20). Mr Kanak is the chairman of Prudential's Eastspring Investments.

At the council's gala dinner held this week, Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat during his keynote address touched on the ongoing work which could benefit both the EU and Asean such as in the areas of trade facilitation, disaster risk finance and e-commerce. He also called for support from Europe in areas such as infrastructure financing and the Asean Smart Cities Network.

Mr Heng said: "There is tremendous potential for both Asean and the EU to collaborate, and to keep our economies relevant and forward-looking. We appreciate the European businesses' commitment and support to Asean. As Asean Chair this year, Singapore is keen to facilitate greater interaction between the EU and Asean, particularly in the areas of innovation, digital economy and infrastructure financing through platforms such as the Asean Smart Cities Network."

Europe is the top source of foreign direct investments for Asean and the region's second-largest trading partner. The 2017 Asean-EU Business Sentiment Survey, meanwhile, has shown that an overwhelming majority of European companies polled had expected to increase trade and investment in the region.