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Business Groups, Associations and Networking for Expats in Singapore

Author: Jim Newham
Submitted: March 2015

No business is an island, and networking is an essential part of Singaporean business culture. There are numerous networking groups, clubs and professional associations dedicated to business and individual professions. You can find out more about them in Singaporean business magazines, journals and websites such as Meetup Singapore and that of the local chamber of commerce. There is also a chamber of commerce to represent each of the country’s three main ethnic groups: the Chinese, Malays and Indians.

Typically, you will have to sign up to the business group to become a member and pay an annual membership fee. In return, you will gain access to the group's networking events, publications, online resources and consultation services. There is detailed information on how to become a member, along with various types of membership and the respective fees on the group’s website. Most of these groups have regional and local branches.
Among the major business groups and networks are:

Some networks are specifically dedicated to women in business. These membership-based networks offer support to businesswomen in Singapore and organise regular training and networking events. Some of the most prominent networks include:

In addition to this, there are numerous professional networks and associations dedicated to individual professions, such as the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SITF), Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (SMAF) and the Singapore Medical Association (SMA). There is an extensive list of professional, governmental, and business associations in Singapore on this Contact Singapore page.

As elsewhere in the world, online networking sites have also become very popular among professionals in Singapore. These networks enable companies and individuals to create online profiles and join interest groups. They can be useful tools for self-promotion, recruitment and making new contacts in your field. The most widely used networking site among professionals in Singapore is the global networking site LinkedIn. There is also the local Singapore Online Business Association (SOBA) which is on the Meetup website.

Expat business people may also be interested in the country-specific business groups in Singapore. A good starting point is to approach the respective country's Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. Most Chambers run clubs both for business people from a particular country and Singaporean business people who want to do business with that country. These clubs offer consultation services and organise networking events for their members. For further expat groups in Singapore, see Expat Groups in Singapore.




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