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On the 11th September 2015, Singapore held General Election deciding how the city-state will be governed for the next 5 years. The People’s Action Party (PAP) sought the peoples’ mandate to take Singapore beyond SG50 into its next half century while The Workers’ Party (WP) was running with the campaign theme “Empower your Future”.

With over 11,000 European companies present in the city-state, political developments are critical for the business community. In particular, industries are concerned about the business climate, immigration, and manpower regulatory issues as a consequence of the election outcome. How do we discern the GE2015 results? What does it mean for Singapore vis-a-vis the hot-button issues? How do we see leadership succession at the highest levels proceeding?

Although the globalised and diversified economy of Singapore depends heavily on trade and foreign exchange, the Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong already announced adjustments to the policies, a slowdown of the inflow of foreign workers and a strengthening of permanent residency and citizenship applications. How will this context impact on the reputation of Singapore to be the “easiest place to do business” and what are the key changes the business leaders should be aware of?

EuroCham provided his members with a special post-election session gathering panelists Professor Eugene Tan, Associate Professor of law at the School of Law, SMU and Co-Director of the SMU Centre for Scholars’ Development, and Mr Mark Canning, Senior Adviser at Bell Pottinger, former British Ambassador to Indonesia and former British Permanent Representative to the ASEAN.

The discussion was moderated by Mr Victor Mills, the CEO of Singapore International Chamber of Commerce.

If you wish to learn more about EuroCham events, please drop us an email at events@eurocham.org.sg.



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Eugene K.B. Tan is associate professor of law at the School of Law, Singapore Management University (SMU) and co-director of the SMU Centre for Scholars’ Development.
An advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore, his inter-disciplinary research interests include constitutional and administrative law, the mutual interaction of law and public policy, the regulation of ethnic conflict, and the government and politics of Singapore.  An active analyst for the local and international media on Singapore politics and society. Eugene also regularly contributes commentaries to the various Singapore newspapers.

Between February 2012 and August 2014, Eugene served as a Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore’s 12th Parliament.






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Mark Canning served as a British Ambassador to Indonesia (as well as Britain’s Permanent Representative to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)) until August 2014, when he left the UK Diplomatic Service. Mark’s career in the Diplomatic Service spanned over three decades but had a consistently strong focus on the Asia Pacific, indeed he spent 15 of the last 20 years in that region, serving twice in Indonesia, as well as in Myanmar and as Deputy of Head of Mission in Malaysia.

Mark Canning now acts as Senior Adviser to Bell Pottinger, a major international PR and communications agency which has a strong presence in Singapore and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region. He is a frequent traveller to this area and a regular media commentator on regional issues. Mr Canning holds a B.A. (Hons) in Modern History from the University of London, U.K. and a MBA from the Open University, U.K.


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Victor Mills is the Chief Executive of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC) since June 2014. He is currently working on manpower and societal issues affecting business and societal sustainability. Mr Mills brings with him 30 years of organisational and professional experience in the financial services industry. He worked for Standard Chartered as an expatriate generalist for 10 years in with stints in Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom. He then joined the former Republic National Bank of New York, Singapore Branch (Republic) on local terms. He worked for 8 years as a specialist in institutional banking covering south and south-east Asia as well as south and east Africa from Singapore. Republic was subsequently acquired by HSBC for which Mr Mills worked for a further 12 years in Singapore as a specialist in institutional banking in cash and securities.

Mr Mills is a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors and of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.