Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), officially opened the Bank of Singapore's branch in the DIFC on Sunday.
The official opening ceremony was attended by Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC; Samuel Tsien, Group CEO of Bank of Singapore's parent company OCBC Bank; Ching Wei Hong, chief operating officer of OCBC Bank and chairman of Bank of Singapore; and Bahren Shaari, CEO of Bank of Singapore; apart from 250 of the private bank's clients.
Sheikh Maktoum congratulated Bank of Singapore on the opening of its regional office in DIFC and highlighted the special relationship between Singapore and the UAE, which, he said, is steadily growing stronger.
He stressed that the government of Dubai continues to work in line with its vision established decades ago of pursuing a strong partnership with local and international private sector companies. He underlined the role that this partnership has played in supporting Dubai's ambitious development plans across several sectors, including the banking sector.
Sheikh Maktoum further said that DIFC is keen to provide a conducive environment for its partners from across the globe to accelerate their business growth and success.
He also commended Singapore on the recognition it gained at last week's World Government Summit in Dubai where the country's Ministry of Finance was awarded the Best M-Government Award in the category of Economy & Commerce.
With the establishment of its DIFC office, the Bank of Singapore seeks to usher in a new growth phase in its history in the Middle East. The branch is helmed by Kirit Chauhan and supported by a team of 75 employees.
In conjunction with the official opening of the DIFC branch, Bank of Singapore organised a business forum titled 'Global Outlook 2017 Conference' for 200 clients based in the Middle East and another 50 international clients who travelled to Dubai to attend the event and the opening of the branch.
Theoretical physicist and futurist Dr Michio Kaku, and Nobel laureate and economist Paul Krugman headlined the business forum. Dr Kaku spoke on his vision of the future and how businesses and societies will be shaped by future trends. Krugman shared his insights on global economic issues.
Shaari said: "The Middle East, specifically the UAE, has been an integral part of our business. The setting up of this branch in DIFC further strengthens our franchise and commitment to serve the burgeoning population of ultra-high and high-net worth individuals in this region."
Bank of Singapore's presence in the Middle East goes back over 20 years. It opened its representative office in Dubai in 1996, before the DIFC was set up in 2004.
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