BIGO’s initiatives to assist Singaporean SMEs in establishing themselves in the Middle East include the extension of co-working space and facilities use in its MENA office for up to six months, business matchmaking and networking opportunities, and assistance with logistical requirements such as employment permits. These measures were unveiled on Thursday, March 9, 2023, during a panel discussion titled “Accessing the Jordan Market” hosted together with Action Community for Enterprise (ACE).
The event also highlighted opportunities for Singapore businesses in the Middle East, and was graced by distinguished guests and speakers, including Her Excellency Ms. Kholoud M. Saqqaf, Minister of Investment at the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; His Excellency Samer Anton Naber, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the Republic of Singapore; and Mr. Mothanna Gharaibeh, Chair of Enjez and Nova outsourcing, CEO
(Left to right) Mr Mike Ong, Vice President, BIGO; His Excellency Samer Anton Naber, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the Republic of Singapore; and Mr Lucian Koh, Head of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Action Community for Entrepreneurship; speaking during the fireside chat, with Mr Mothanna Gharaibeh, Chair of Enjez and Nova outsourcing, CEO of Fifth Advisory Services, and Former Minister of Digital
The discussion provided a forum for sharing unique insights into Jordan’s technology and startup ecosystem, its vibrant innovation scene, and its plethora of investment opportunities, bolstered by strong government support and a favorable business environment, as the Kingdom has one of the fastest-growing startup ecosystems in the Middle East. The event was attended by close to a hundred entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, and leaders of diverse organizations, of which two-thirds were startups.
With its favorable business climate, competitive talent pool, supportive investment policies, wide Free Trade Agreements, and solid political stability, Jordan has been a significant center for BIGO’s MENA activities, according to BIGO Vice President Mike Ong. A crucial element in our decision to start operations in Jordan in 2019 was the Kingdom’s great potential in the business and information and communications technology sectors, making it a perfect launching pad as we continue to expand our footprint in the MENA region.
With the establishment of a second office in Irbid, Jordan’s second-largest city, BIGO’s workforce in the MENA area has grown from 50 to over a thousand personnel. This makes BIGO the largest Singaporean company in the United Kingdom.
His Excellency Samer Anton Naber, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the Republic of Singapore, stated, “We recognize many synergies between Singapore and the Kingdom of Jordan, including our strong connectivity as a gateway to the broader region, bolstered by our deep commitment to multi-culturalism, education, and a diversified economy.” “The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked 27 Jordanian startups among the top 100 in the Arab World in 2019, despite Jordan comprising just 2.5% of the Arab World’s population. With the highest number of engineers per capita in the world, one engineer for every 40 people, and a literacy rate of over 98 percent, Jordan provides a perfect ecosystem for startups seeking to expand and flourish in the area, assisted by an abundance of tax benefits for the technology industry.”
“BIGO’s growth and development in the MENA area has substantially benefited from the strong and enduring ties between Singapore and Jordan,” Mr. Ong noted. “As a Singaporean firm that has evolved from strength to strength, BIGO is always looking for new methods to generate possibilities that contribute to Singapore’s technological ecosystem and help the company and the country flourish together on the global stage.”
BIGO has had the honor of hosting prominent government officials at its first MENA office in Amman, including Dr. Maliki Bin Osman, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Education & Foreign Affairs in 2022, and Mr. Shamsher Zaman, Singapore Ambassador to Jordan, who returned in March 2023.