Meet business owners and policymakers from Latin America and Asia. Held biennially in Singapore, the Latin Asia Business Forum is the premier platform for business and government leaders to exchange business insights and together shape the economic partnership of both regions. Since inauguration in 2004, LAB has brought together close to 3,000 business and government leaders from 50 countries in robust discussion.

Event Highlights From LAB2015

A recap of the key discussions and happenings that went on at LAB 2015. Click through for in-depth analysis and videos of all our panels:



9:30 - 10:15   
Registration and Networking Breakfast
10:15 - 10:30
Welcome Address by Teo Eng Cheong, CEO, IE Singapore
10:30 - 11:30
Keynote Panel - The dawn of the new economic normal: Where does the Latin-Asia partnership stand?
Economic transformation in Asia in the 2000s has paved the way for Asia to become a key driver of the global economy while Latin America’s economic resilience and strong growth in the past decade has fuelled bullish attitudes towards the region. In an era of weakening commodity prices and slowing global growth, the existing inter-regional trade and investment linkages between Latin America and Asia will necessarily be more crucial for both regions.

Will political transition in Latin America and/or Asia bode well for economic relationships between the regions? What are the implications for ongoing trade negotiations, protectionism, and sustainable economic growth?

Moderator: Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society and Council of the Americas
  • Enrique Garcia, President and CEO, CAF, Development Bank of Latin America
  • Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Singapore
11:30 - 12:30
Panel 2 - Urbanising Latin America: What must be done to bridge the infrastructure gap?
Latin America is the most urbanised region in the world, where 80% of the population - or 485 million - reside in metropolitan areas. While rapid urban growth has followed from Latin America’s rise in the last decades, it has also put a strain on housing, transportation, water and waste management.

To bridge the region’s infrastructure gap, Latin American countries will need to double current levels of investment in infrastructure. Over the next decade, the potential project pipeline is estimated to be US$1.5 trillion. However, the lack of continuity in local policies and interests from one administration to the next has been a key impediment for long-term, government-sponsored infrastructure projects.

What are local companies and governments doing to mitigate the impact of such transitions, if at all? What are the best practices, technologies, and financing options or models to optimise returns in infrastructure investments in Latin America?

Moderator: Julian Goh, Director, Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore
  • Alfonso Vegara, President, Fundacion Metropoli
  • Eduardo Santoyo, CEO, Fondo Capital Infraestructura
  • Paulo Cesena, President, Odebrecht TransPort
  • Renato Mazzola, Head of Infrastructure, BTG Pactual
  • Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO, Surbana Jurong
12:30 - 14:00
Networking Lunch
14:00 - 15:00
Panel 3 - Living with creative disruption: How will Latin American and Asian business leaders innovate for the future?
In the last decade, Latin America and Asia have undergone transformational growth and emerged as important drivers of the global economy. Businesses, both large and small, have played a key role in catalysing this development. While large conglomerates control market share across many industries in both regions, many small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) still form the base of these economies.

The advent of digitisation, which has resulted in the convergence of content, channels, and commerce, has transformed and redefined the global competitive landscape. New enterprises with new business models are sprouting up, disrupting, and quickly overtaking the more established and traditional companies.

How are entrepreneurship and innovation changing the business landscape in Latin America and Asia today? How are businesses in Latin America and Asia continuously evolving and innovating to stay ahead of the game?

Moderator: Arnaud Frade, CEO Asia-Pacific, Ipsos Interactive Services
  • Ailtom Nascimento, Executive Vice President (Global Business), Stefanini
  • Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings
  • Marcos Jank, Vice President (Corporate Affairs and Business Development), BRF Asia-Pacific
  • Michael Harari, CEO, Regency Group
  • William Edwards, CEO (Attractions), Themed Attractions & Hotels
15:00 - 15:30
Networking Break
15:30 - 16:30
Panel 4 - Will oil fuel the Latin-Asia relationship for the long haul?
Despite the changing economics of oil, Latin America continues to be a major player on the world energy stage. The region’s vast oil and gas resources continue to play a critical role in supplying Asia’s energy needs and attracting Asian investors to the region.

While collaboration between Latin America and Asia in this sector has been strong, the road ahead is not without challenges. Much remains uncertain in the oil & gas industry in Latin America despite the region’s still enormous potential. In light of the global energy outlook, what are some new windows of opportunity in the energy sector and how can Latin America-Asia partnerships tap on these to grow?

Moderator: Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Americas Society and Council of the Americas
  • James Pang, Managing Director, Pacific Radiance
  • Jason Waldie, Associate Director (Singapore), Douglas-Westwood
  • Jordi Welti, General Manager, P.M.I. Singapore Branch
  • Kong Yen Sin, Director of Oil Trading (Asia), BG Group
  • Michael Chia, Managing Director (Marine & Technology), Keppel Offshore & Marine
16:30 - 16:45
Closing Remarks by LAB 2015 Advisory Board Chairperson, Jennie Chua, Singapore's Non-Resident Ambassador to Mexico
One-to-one Business Meetings and Networking Cocktail




16 October 2015 (Friday)
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore


Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Deputy Prime Minister
and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Singapore




iAdvisory Seminar:
Doing Business in Colombia

14 October 2015 (Wednesday)
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM (GMT+8)
IE Singapore Office - Little Red Dot Seminar Room

Expanding Your Business:
From Latin America to Southeast Asia

15 October 2015 (Thursday) 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
INSEAD Asia Campus - Amphitheatre 106
Organised by The Latin American Chamber of Commerce & INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute


Despite the physical distance, Latin America and Asia are closely linked. Latin America's bilateral trade with Asia was 30% larger than with any other region combined, growing at a strong CAGR of 21.3% in the last decade to US$446.2 billion in 2013.


Closer to home, Singapore has strong economic ties with Latin American countries

Singapore-Latin America trade, which grew by a CAGR of 7.8% from 2009 to 2014, reached S$32.1 billion in 2014 (Singapore Department of Statistics, 2014). The multitude of bilateral agreements between the regions continue to drive economic relations:

Multilateral Agreements
Air Services Agreements
Tax Treaties
Investment Guarantee Agreements
A Range Of Trade Benefits
Singapore has four Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Latin American countries. These include Chile (through the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership), Costa Rica, Panama and Peru.

Singapore is also an observer to the Pacific Alliance, which is a trade bloc formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
Singapore shares a comprehensive Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Mexico and Panama, and a limited treaty with Brazil and Chile. The DTA with Barbados entered into force on April 2014 and was effective 1 Jan 2015.
Latin American companies based in Singapore can also leverage Singapore's extensive network of 76 DTAs, 41 IGAs and 21 FTAs.

Singapore has ten Air Services Agreements (ASAs) in Latin America; with Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

Singapore Airlines launched thrice-weekly flights to São Paulo, Brazil in March 2011. These flights marked the national carrier's first connections to Latin America, and it is particularly noteworthy that SIA is the first carrier in Southeast Asia to establish direct flights to the continent.

Singapore also has two Investment Guarantee Agreements (IGAs), with Mexico and Peru.

For Latin American Companies

From third world to first in a space of less than 50 years, Singapore, Southeast Asia's smallest country, is today a vibrant city-state with one of the highest standards of living in the world. Singapore is a trusted brand in the world, known for our transparency, pro-business policies, and trusted legal and corporate governance system.

As a result, Latin American corporations have set up presence in Singapore. They include aircraft manufacturer Embraer, oil & gas giant Petrobras, food corporation BRF, mining firm Vale, petrochemicals company Braskem, Chilean wine producer Concha y Toro, Argentinean engineering firm Tenaris, P.M.I., the trading arm of Mexican national oil company PEMEX, as well as Banco do Brasil, Latin America's largest bank by assets, which opened a brokerage in Singapore.

Singapore Connects You to Asia
Located at the crossroads of the East-West trading routes, Singapore is one of the world's top transportation hubs for sea and air cargo, providing access to fast-growing markets such as China, India and Southeast Asia.
Your Ideal Business Partner   
Our companies make excellent business partners with their strong track record of delivering integrated solutions and high quality products for partners in the region and beyond.
A Great Place To Live                 
Safe and orderly, we are recognised as one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the world.
Testament to our high quality of living, Singapore was ranked as Asia's best place to work, live and play in ("Quality of Living Ranking", Mercer, 2014).


Singapore companies are well-known for their dedication to quality and relentless drive to innovate. In the Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Oil & Gas sectors, Singapore companies make excellent business partners.

Oil & Gas
Singapore progressed from a 3rd world developing nation to a 1st world metropolis in less than 50 years.

Learning from the rest of the world, Singapore accelerated our infrastructure development capabilities. Within a short span of less than 50 years, Singapore has established well-connected land, air and sea transport systems, world class public utilities and waste management system as well as affordable high standard public housing.

Singapore’s well developed infrastructure is a key driver of our economic growth. Our innovative space solutions and forward planning have allowed us to adapt and grow quickly to meet the evolving needs of businesses. In particular, Singapore companies can offer their capabilities in these areas:

  • Master Planning
  • Utilities: Power, Clean Water, and Waste Management
  • Land, Port and Airport Infrastructure
  • Info-communications Technology Infrastructure
Why Partner Singapore
  • Singapore companies experience working with governments from both Singapore and abroad in infrastructural public private partnership projects.
  • Singapore companies are able to adapt their solutions to the different environment and circumstances overseas.
  • Singapore companies source for the most cost-effective options and are able to pace the implementation of these measures to lessen costs to businesses and individuals.

Singapore is the top country in Asia for IP rights protection and is one of the most innovative country globally.
Singapore is also one of the most research-intensive countries in the world, with the Singapore government committing S$16.1 billion in R&D between 2011-2015.

Singapore companies, at the forefront of innovation and technology, have expertise across the entire manufacturing value chain:
  1. Pre-Manufacturing Services
    • Product conceptualisation & design
    • Prototyping
    • Product development
  2. Manufacturing
    • Discrete manufacturing services: casting, tooling, injection moulding, machining, stamping, fabrication, PCB
    • Manufacturing services: automation, testing and inspection, packaging
  3. Post Manufacturing Services
    • Assembly
    • Coating
    • Sterilization
Why Partner Singapore
  • Quality
    With a highly-skilled and qualified labour force, Singapore manufacturing companies have expertise across the entire value chain, from product conceptualization and design, to manufacturing, testing, assembly and post manufacturing services.
  • Competitiveness
    Singapore companies leverage the relatively low-cost manufacturing facilities in Asia (such as Indonesia, Malaysia and China) to manufacture products of international quality at a competitive price.
  • Timeliness
    With more than 760 offices in Asia, and more than 1,000 subsidiaries and marketing offices globally, Singapore companies can meet the needs of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in a timely manner. Latin American companies can partner Singapore companies to tap on their regional network to penetrate the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets.
  • Reliability & High Standards
    Singapore is a global centre for Electronics and Precision Engineering (EPE) and Singapore companies with EPE capabilities are able to cater to sectors such as aerospace, automotive and medical technology. These companies also adhere strictly to international manufacturing standards such as ISO 13485 and TS16149.
Singapore, a nation with no natural oil resources, commands 70% of the world’s market share of FPSO conversions and more than 30% of the global market share of jack-up rigs and semi-submersibles new builds.
Singapore started off as a small ship repair and building centre serving the Southeast Asian region. Today, our companies are global players in the offshore sector, with a substantial global market share, generating 65% industry turnover in offshore rig building and more than 30% industry turnover in ship repair and conversions.

Singapore companies provide these offshore solutions:
  • Concession Owners/ Operators;
  • Integrated Offshore & Marine (O&M) / Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCIs) providers;
  • Vessel Owner-Operators;
  • For Shipyard / Structural / Fabrication/ Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO);
  • Topsides, Process, Utility Modules /Engineering, Procurement And Construction Commissioning (EPCC) contractors;
  • Offshore, Deck Machinery/ Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs);
  • Systems Integrator/ Turnkey Engineering solutions providers;
  • Oilfield Equipment, Tools Component Manufacturing/ Fabrication providers;
  • Mooring / Rigging / Lifting servicers and suppliers;
  • Operators of Offshore Base Logistics/ Project Cargo Handling;
  • Design, Consultancy & Professional Services providers; and
  • General Services & Supplies/ Stockists.
Singapore companies provide a wide range of process and engineering service capabilities:
  • Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Maintenance Work.
  • Equipment and Materials Fabrication.
  • Engineering Services, including chemical & vessel tank cleaning, fire protection and piping works.
Why Partner Singapore
  • Quality and Reliability
    Singapore companies own a sizable market share in rig building. Many of the new rig orders awarded to Singapore are for the proven high-performance proprietary jack-up rig designs such as KFELS B Class and Pacific 400 Class owned by Singapore shipyards.
  • Timely Delivery
    Singapore’s world-class logistics infrastructure, sea ports and air freight facilities, superior warehousing as well as worldwide connectivity have created an efficient supply chain management that is critical for rig building.
  • High Safety Standards
    Singapore companies ensure safe working environment for employees, protection of the environment, and the safeguarding owners’ plants and equipment.


Against a backdrop of slowing global growth, Latin America's outlook remains positive, with opportunities brought about by energy reforms, need for infrastructure to support growth in the region and a rising middle class which in the past decade has doubled to 30% of the total Latin American population.
Singapore companies recognise the opportunities. Direct investment into Latin America reached US$5.99 billion in 2013, growing by a CAGR of 13.7% from 2004 to 2013 (Singapore Department of Statistics).

Today, 100 Singapore companies, with more than 400 points of presence, operate in Latin America in these areas: infrastructure, urban solutions, offshore & marine, transport & logistics, info-communications technology, textiles and furniture.



+ Click to read about the markets
// Latin America's largest economy
// 5th most populous nation in the world
// GDP growth forecast: 0.9% (2015) and 1.3% (2016)

The largest economy in Latin America with a sizeable population of 202 million people, Brazil is the 7th largest economy in the world, and is projected to grow to the 5th largest by 2050.

  • Brazil has stepped up plans to improve the country's infrastructure, with an estimated US$85 billion of financing required for infrastructure development by 2020.
  • Increased private sector participation is expected in construction and management of roads, ports and airports, and large international events.
  • Singapore companies can find opportunities in municipal infrastructure projects as well as airport, port, urban bus and metro systems, urban planning and water.
  • Brazil's manufacturing industry is driven by the huge but stable domestic market of 202 million population.
  • The total manufacturing market size is estimated at US$90 billion and there are opportunities for Singapore companies in automotive and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).
  • Brazil is the 4th largest automotive market in the world, with an industry GDP of USD$5 billion as of 2014.
  • The FMCG industry has been growing as its middle class population grows to 50% of total population. Household expenditure is expected to reach US$2,004 billion by 2018.
Oil & Gas
  • A relaxation of rules on local content has opened up opportunities for Singapore companies in large-scale shipyards, such as constructors of rigs, FPSOs, ships, conversion projects.
  • To capture these opportunities, Singapore companies should cultivate relationships with Brazilian shipping companies and ship brokers.
  • Other companies in equipment and engineering services used for petroleum exploration, production and refining must be competitively priced and be able to handle clients' on-site installation and maintenance needs.

More about Brazil here.
// Strong financial institutions and sound policies
// GDP growth forecast: 2.9% (2015) and 3.6% (2016)

A market-oriented economy, with high level of foreign trade, Chile is the first Latin American country to receive an A-grade sovereign bond rating. Chile's economy presents opportunities for investors in the mining utilities, ICT and infrastructure sectors.
// One of Latin America's fastest growing economy
// GDP growth forecast: 3.4% (2015 and 2016)

With sound macroeconomic fundamentals and a welcoming policy toward foreign investment, Colombia has seen increased foreign direct investments especially in the infrastructure, mining, energy and financial sectors.

  • Colombia has drawn up a 10-year US$55 billion infrastructure investment plan.
  • One key development is the Caribbean Diamond Programme which will see 15 strategic projects developed across the Caribbean Diamond municipalities, housing 26 percent of the country's population.
  • This presents opportunities for Singapore companies in masterplanning, as well as in the development of ports, water plants and industrial parks.
Oil & Gas
  • The Colombian upstream energy sector is promising, with proven reserves and oil production rising, and vast unexplored swathes of Colombia signifying potential for new oil discoveries.
  • The Colombian government's oil auctions in 2014, which drew US$1.4 billion in investments, coupled with the partial privatisation of Ecopetrol Oil, have generated record levels of exploratory and development drilling underway. Sustained oil production expansion is expected till 2018, presenting Singapore companies good growth opportunities.

More about Colombia here.
// Latin America's 2nd largest economy
// GDP growth forecast: 2.9% (2015) and 3.4% (2016)

Revitalised by reforms under the Peña Nieto administration, with a capable but low cost workforce, Mexico has emerged as one of the most promising economies in Latin America, and ranked 12th globally in terms of GDP.

  • Mexican government will invest US$400 billion by 2018, in transport and energy-related infrastructure. A total of 1,100 tenders will be announced, in projects spanning the energy, communications, transport, housing, urban development, health and tourism sectors.
  • Singapore companies will find opportunities in master-planning, management of ports and airports, provision of intelligent transport systems, management of water, waste treatment plants, e-government solutions, and hospitality and tourism infrastructure.
  • The nearshoring of US companies back to North America and the rise in consumption as a result of the US economic recovery has brought more manufacturing companies to leverage on Mexico's skilled and cost-competitive workforce to manufacture for the US market. This results in a greater demand for suppliers, providing opportunities for Singapore's component manufacturers in Mexico.
  • Singapore manufacturers supplying to the aerospace, automotive and medical technology players in North America, can consider Mexico as a manufacturing base. Closer proximity to key clients will reduce logistics costs and keep up to speed with developments in clients' supply chain.
  • In particular, an influx of FDIs by OEMs and Tier 1 companies is leading to a growing demand for Tier 2 and Tier 3 component manufacturers in Mexico. Singapore component manufacturers with tooling, stamping and machining capabilities can support the domestic Mexican manufacturing industry.
Oil & Gas
  • The energy reform will end state monopolies in the electricity generation and oil & gas sectors, encouraging private investment and foreign participation in exploration, production and transportation activities.
  • Singapore upstream E&P equipment companies can find opportunities to supply rigs, vessels and equipment, as well as sophisticated technology and engineering solutions.
  • In the offshore & marine segment, Singapore companies can provide a full suite of integrated solutions, products and equipment to support the exploration and production and transportation of oil & gas.

More about Mexico here.
// Rich in natural resources and agricultural produce
// GDP growth forecast: 3.5% (2015) and 4.6% (2016)

Peru is set to become the third fastest growing economy in Latin America. After more than a decade of robust growth, Peru is built on solid fundamentals and policies with an open and transparent investment regime, along with its broad network of Free Trade Agreements.

  • Peru's construction industry has a US$20.5 billion budget in infrastructure investment till 2016. The Peruvian government is also providing financing for US$7 billion of private infrastructure projects.
  • Spending in transport infrastructure will expand to US$5.5 billion in 2019. The Peruvian government has plans to invest US$766 million in transport infrastructure for the Cusco region, specifically in the international airport and road infrastructure before end-2016.
  • Singapore companies could provide masterplanning solutions for Peru's port and airport projects or consider downstream opportunities to provide operations expertise or solutions.

More about Peru here.


Strategic Sponsors

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Thank you for choosing to participate in Latin Asia Business Forum 2015. Foreign visitors from some countries may require a visa for entry to Singapore. To find out whether you need visa, please visit the website of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs at

If you require a visa, it is important that you start the application process to acquire one as soon as possible.


Singapore is a lively cosmopolitan city filled with a rich blend of heritage precincts, beautifully landscaped gardens and modern, high-rise buildings. Home to a harmonious mix of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture, Singapore is rich in contrast and colour.

Being a multi-racial society, Singapore is as diverse as it is harmonious. With so much to see and do, this is perhaps best experienced through your encounters with the locals. And if you're feeling nostalgic and looking to discover old world charm, you can explore and experience the island's key historical landmarks or memorials.

If you prefer the bright city lights and being amidst the hustle and bustle, there are numerous shopping malls, museums, dining and entertainment hotspots to choose from. Or if you're in for a treat, Singapore has a multifarious offering of food - day or night, there will always be something to whet your appetite. With a wide range of dining options and things to see and do, there is always something for everyone!

Get acquainted with Singapore's multicultural society by exploring the various cultural precincts and religious landmarks around the island. Whether you join a tour or discover your own Singapore, you will be sure to catch a glimpse of the impressive history, cultural diversity and lifestyles of Singaporeans during your visit to our city-state.

For more information on what Singapore has to offer, please click here.

Currency and Time zone
The currency is the Singapore dollar and the time zone is GMT +8.00

Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no true distinct seasons. Due to its geographical location and maritime exposure, it typically has a uniform temperature, high humidity and abundant rainfall. The average weather in October is 30°C.

Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English are the 4 official languages in Singapore. English is the language of business and administration, and is widely spoken and understood.

The standard voltage in Singapore is 220V/240V, 50 Hz. Singapore uses the British BS1363 three-pronged square pin type socket.


Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

Set in peaceful surroundings amidst 15 acres of lush tropical gardens, the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore is widely acknowledged as one of the world's best hotels. It is situated in the heart of the city, just a short walk away from the entertainment and shopping at the bustling Orchard Road and a 10-minute taxi ride to the central business district.

Shangri-La's guests can choose from 747 luxurious guestrooms and suites in three distinct wings: the contemporary Tower Wing, the tropical Garden Wing and the exclusive Valley Wing.

For more information, call 6737 3644 or visit

Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350


Preferential rates are offered to guests of LAB2015 by the Shangri-La Hotel.

Tower Wing Deluxe Room
S$340++/S$360++ per room per night

Garden Wing Deluxe Room
S$365++/S$485++ per room per night

Horizon Club Deluxe Room
S$395++/ S$435++ per room per night

Horizon Club Premier Room
S$475++/ S$515++ per room per night

Valley Wing Deluxe Room
S$495++/S$555++ per room per night

Download the hotel booking form here, and return it to the Shangri-La Hotel directly via an email to Ms Hana at or Ms Aida at; Attention: Group Reservations.







International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is the government agency driving Singapore's external economy. We spearhead the overseas growth of Singapore-based companies and promote international trade.

Trade has always been the backbone of Singapore's economy. In addition to promoting export of goods and services, IE Singapore also attracts global commodities traders to establish their global or Asian home base in Singapore. Today, Singapore is a thriving trading hub with a complete ecosystem for the energy, agri-commodities and metals & minerals trading clusters. 

Renowned worldwide for their dedication to quality and innovation, Singapore-based companies make ideal business partners. With our global network in over 35 locations spanning many developed and emerging markets, we connect businesses with relevant Singapore-based companies for their business expansion by:

In the Americas region we have four offices, in Mexico City (Mexico) and São Paulo (Brazil), Los Angeles (USA) and New York (USA) as well as four honorary business representatives: in Mexico City (Mexico), Miami (United States), Panama City (Panama) and Santiago (Chile).

Visit for more information.



Please email the LAB Secretariat


Please contact Ms Carmen Huang