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AUG 2011

Singapore

From Dean To President ScandAsia.dk

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AugustScandAsia.se 2011 • ScandAsia.Singapore 1


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SiSu Coffee Morning Date: 24 August 2011 Finns in Singapore (SiSu) invites Finnish living in Singapore to the monthly coffee morning on Wednesday 24 August 2011 at 10.00 am. This is the forum to meet and have breakfast or coffee with your Finnish friends in Singapore. The venue will be announced at www.sisusi.com.

Your FREE ScandAsia Magazine in Singapore ScandAsia is the only magazine that covers all the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish residents in Singapore. We also publish a ScandAsia magazine in China, Thailand, and the rest of South East Asia.

Please sign up for your own FREE copy: www.scandasia.com Publisher: ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. 4/41-2 Ramintra Soi 14, Bangkok 10230, Thailand Tel. +66 2 943 7166-8, Fax: +66 2 943 7169 E-mail: news@scandasia.com Editor-in-Chief: Gregers A.W. Møller gregers@scandmedia.com

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Family Rounders for the Swedish Community Date: 27 August 2011

Information for Newcomer

Swedish Business Association of (SBAS) will organize the Family Rounders for the Swedish community in Singapore on Saturday 27 August 2011. This event will bring all Swedish family to have fun activities together after long summer. More details will be announced soon at www.sbas.org.sg.

Date: 25 August 2011 Location: Norwegian Seaman’s Church If you are newly arrived to Singapore and want to get more information about Singapore, you are the most welcomed to join «Information for Newcomer» on Thursday 25 August 2011 at 6.00 pm at the Norwegian Seaman’s Church. The newcomer will have all needed information from the Embassy, the Church, the Norwegian School, and others things from Norwegian resident in Singapore. You may contact Martin Jansvik at +65 9816 0116 or email at mja@sjomannskirken.no for more information.

Advertising: Frank Leong frank@scandasia.com Finn Balslev finn@scandmedia.com Piyanan Kalikanon piyanan@scandmedia.com Nattapat Maesang nattapat@scandmedia.com Graphic Designer: Supphathada Numamnuay supphathada@scandmedia.com Distribution: Pimjai Chaimongkol pimjai@scandmedia.com Printing: Advanced Printing Services Co., Ltd.

Daily news and features here: www.scandasia.com

SWEA Weekly Walks in Bukit Timah Summit Date: 29 August 2011 Location: Bukit Timah Summit Join to walk in Bukit Timah Summit with the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) every Monday, starting from Monday 29 August 2011 at 09.30 to 10.30 am. The Bukit Timah area is a particularly prominent location with a high land value. The area of Bukit Timah has an extensive flora and forest compared to other parts of Singapore, and contains Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which is partially responsible for its high land value. The nature reserve was established in 1883. For more information about the program, please contact President Anna Larsgård at +65 9186 5413 or visit www. swea.org/Singapore.


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Skt. Hans Party in Singapore

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ith over fifty participants in the “Sankt Hans” Mid Summer Party at the Danish Church, it seemed like most Danish families in Singapore, who had not left for a summer break in Denmark, were there. The Chairman of the Board of the Church, Tom Hansen was there to officiate at the party. He was joined by President of DABS, Henrik Ziegler, who was there there along with several other members of the DABS board. There was plenty of delicious food in the buffet for the grown up, while the children seemed to favour the the hotdog station. When all plates were full and the glasses filled with cold beer or redwine, Tom Hansen held his mid summer speech and gave the signal to lit up the bonfire. The witch on top flew off to Blocksberg a bit faster than expected - we had hardly time to gather around the fire - but we all still sang the mid summer song “Vi elsker vort land” to the smouldering ashes of the fire. Enjoy the photos from the evening here, by Disraporn Yatprom. On www.scandasia.com there is also a video documenting the Danes’ excellency at singing.

6 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2011


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ScandAsia News Brief YMCA plans partnership with Danish SPF

T Dane in Muay Thai Match in Singapore

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hampion vs. Champion, a Muay Thai kickboxing match between among others Danish Ole Laursen and Filipino Eduard Folayang, has been confirmed by the officials from Singapore. The fight will take place at the 12,000-seater Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang on 3 September 2011. “Champion vs. Champion” will feature several exciting kickboxing matches, but the show’s highlight will be the match between top Filipino lightweight Eduard Folayang and Filipino born Danish Ole “Iron Fist” Laursen, who is a Danish welterweight Muay Thai kickboxer and lightweight mixed martial artist. Ole Laursen has his own training camp in Ubon Ratchathani in Thailand. The crowd will also see former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweights, Phil Baroni and Yoshiyuki Yoshida clash on as part of the inaugural offering from One Fighting Championship. The event will be broadcasted to a reported 500 million homes throughout Asia by ESPN Star Sports and MediaCorp. North American broadcast plans, however, have not been announced.

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he Young Men’s Christian Association of Singapore (YMCA) has plans to partner with Danish social organisation, Specialist People Foundation (SPF), to match autistic workers with high-skilled jobs. At the “4th Ideas for a Better World Forum” on 21 July hosted by Singapore International Foundation, the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) president, Denise Phua, said that ARC is planning to start a job centre early next year to supporty those who have left school but are not job-ready by providing assessment of the applicants’ abilities and employability training. The job centre could also offer services such as job matching and preparing workplaces through awareness talks and training. “They may think that hiring people with special needs is charity but they may not be

aware that if planned and executed well, the special-needs workforce can be a reliable and valuable workforce,” said Ms. Phua. “There should be room for everyone in the society and not just for those who fit in, and these people have the potential to contribute, just like everyone,” said SPF founder Thorkil Sonne, who was also speaking at the forum. Ms. Phua noted that the initiative faces financial constraints and there is a shortage of trained manpower to support the autistic workers. The YMCA’s partnership with the SPF will replicate the foundation’s business arm and provide training, short-term work exposure and work placements, as well as negotiate with companies on making allowances for their autistic workers.

Norwegian REC Reports Strong Operational Performance

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orwegian solar power company Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has nnever had a better operational performance than at present said CEO Ole Enger during the presentation of the company’s interim report. According to Norwegian news wire Six News Norge, Enger said “We have already achieved the goals we have set for 2011.” In 2010, REC announced targets to reduce its cost by 30 gto 35% in Singapore and by 20% in Norway.

According to the chief executive, the goals were deemed to be quite offensive by analysts and other players, yet REC had already fulfilled them. REC moved to a pretax loss from continuing operations of NOK6.287bn in the second quarter of 2011, on the back of huge write-downs. In the second quarter if 2010, REC posted a pretax profit from continuing operations of NOK866m. However, the company believes that after a weak second quarter, market conditions will improve in the second half of 2010.


Football Match Fixer Jailed in Finland

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rrested for bribing football (soccer) players in the Finnish football league, Wilson Raj Perumal has been sentenced to two years jail sentence as international match-fixing scandals continue to spread and investigators point to organised crime networks based in Southeast Asia. Perumal had travelled to Finland, where he was caught on 25 February. He was held on suspicion of bribing 11 players to manipulate matches in the Finnish leagues. Described as humble, polite and smartly dressed, the 45-year-old did nothing to rouse the suspicion of his landlord, neighbours or any of his friends during his seven-month stay in London. He then turned out to be a convicted match-fixer on the run from the police, after hitting one with his car in Singapore, who was busily masterminding an international empire

Singapore Strongly Condemns Norway Attacks

from his one-bedroom flat in the shadow of Wembley Stadium. He rented a flat under a pseudonym, Rajamohan Chelliah, and paid six months’ rent up front to compensate for being unable to provide any references. Duly satisfied, the landlord did not probe any deeper into his tenant’s past. If he had, he would have discovered 13 convictions for forgery, assault, burglary and match-fixing dating back to 1983. A court statement said Perumal’s scam involved bribing seven Zambian and two Georgian players, all of whom played in the Finnish league. It also noted his cooperation with investigators. In May, FIFA signed a $20 million landmark deal with Interpol creating an investigative unit based in Singapore to root out game rigging in Asia.

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ingapore has strongly condemned the bombing in Oslo and shooting on the island of Utoeya on 22 July 2011, Friday. In a statement on Saturday, 23 July, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said Singapore conveys its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Norway. The statement said the attacks underscore the common terrorist threat the world faces today. It added that Singapore stands firmly behind the Norwegian government in its fight against terrorism. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the attacks in Norway are reminders that all countries must remain vigilant and resolute in countering terrorism in a letter to his Norwegian counterpart Mr. Jens Stoltenberg. Singapore’s Foreign Minister K Shanmugam also sent his deepest condolences and sympathies. In a letter to his Norwegian counterpart Mr. Jonas Gahr Store, Mr. Shanmugam said he learnt with great dismay and sorrow of the senseless attacks. He said Norway is a good friend of Singapore, and that his thoughts are with the people of Norway and the families who lost relatives or friends to the terrible acts of violence.

Mr. Grergers Moller and Mr. Frank Leong look forward to expanding ScandAsia in Singapore together.

ScandAsia Establishes Company in Singapore

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candAsia Publishing Pte. Ltd. was established on 20 July 2011 as a joint venture between ScandAsia in Thailand and Frank Leong, who has been Sales Manager for the ScandAsia Singapore since November 2010. Frank Leong is a partner in S C Production LLP which sells advertisements for various other magazines. He will now dedicate more of his time to serve ScandAsia. The Publisher of ScandAsia, Gregers Moller, is excited about the expansion. “The perspective of having our own corporate framework in Singapore is exciting. Initially, we will employ Frank as our Sales Manager and next, a journalist will team up with him to cover the many activities in the Nordic communities in Singapore,” he says. Among the benefits of establishing the company in Singapore is the first three years of tax exemption for profit below 100.000 Singapore dollars. The absence of monthly withholding tax reports and payments and exemption of GST if the turnover is below 1 mill Singapore dollars facilitates business start-ups further. “Having just been through a similar process in Thailand, which took several months, the efficiency of the Singaporean government administration and bank system was amazing,” says Gregers Moller. “We had prepared all papers, so with that in place, the whole process, including opening a bank account, was done in one afternoon!” August 2011 • ScandAsia.Singapore 9


Three Days of Inspiration & Vision:

Norway - Asia Business Over three days from 29 September to 1 October, Norwegian businessmen from all over Asia will gather in Singapore for a high paced, top inspirational, visionary look at opportunities and challenges for doing business in a fast changing Asia. By Gregers Moller

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he Norway - Asia Business Summit is a major regional event for Norwegians in Asia. This year, the Norway - Asia Business Summit takes place on 29 September - 1 October 2011 in Singapore. “The program has been put together to be of interest for Norwegian businessmen in Asia, Asian partners of Norwegian companies and Norwegians in Norway with business in Asia. There is no need to be a member of any Norwegian Chamber or Business Association - anyone is welcome to attend the summit,” says Ms. Kjersti Thorvildsen, Head of Secretariat of the Norwegian Business Association (Singapore) - NBAS. Deadline for signing up is on 2 September and the fee is 750 S$ for the summit. The Norway - Asia Business Summit was last year held in Shanghai in connection with the World Expo. This time it is back in Singapore where it will again take place on Sentosa Island at the Sentosa Resort & Spa. “The benefit of Sentosa Island is that it is near and still away from downtown Singapore. If you are doing business in Singapore, the temptation to drop out of a session to quickly take care of something in the office is not there,” Kjersti Thorvildsen explains. The summit coincided with

10 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2011

the visit to Singapore of Norway’s Standing Committee of Finance and Economic Affairs, and the Chair of the Committee, Mr. Torgeir Micaelsen, will be a Key Note Speaker during the opening session.

Thursday 29 September Registration starts on Thursday at 16.00 at the Conference Centre Lobby at the Sentosa Resort & Spa. At 17.00, the Opening Address will be held in the Straits Ballroom by Her Exellency Janne Julsrud, Ambassador of Norway to Singapore. Welcome & Introduction will then follow by Mr. Erik Borgen, President of the Norwegian Business Association (Singapore) immediately after. Mr. Torgeir Micaelsen, Chairman of the Standing Committee of Finance and Economic Affairs, will then deliver his Key Note Speech to the participants. Mr. Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), will deliver a second Key Note Speech immediately after. At 18.00, cocktails are served at the Straits Verandah of the Resort and at 19.00 the Buffet Dinner is ready in the Straits Ballroom.

Friday 30 September On Friday the program starts at 8.30 with a keynote address by Mr. Tan Choon Shian, Deputy Managing Director or Singapore’s Economic De-

velopment Board. Mr. Tan Choon Shian will share insights and practical examples how Singapore again and again is able to turn risks into rewards and adversity into competitive edge. At 9.00 two speakers with exceptional insight and vision will speak under the title “Asia 2020; From West to East - the rise of the rest?” The first speaker will be Mr. Victor D. Norman, Ph.D. Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration and former Norwegian Minister of Labor and Government Administration. The next speaker will be Prof. Jorgen Orstrom Moller, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and former Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore. The two will talk about how Asia will look in 2020 in a worst case and a best case scenario. How will mega drivers within Politics, Finance, Energy & Transport, Environment, Demographic Composition and Manufacturing develop? What barriers and opportunities will this present for companies in the next decade. After a short coffee break at 10.00, the Friday program continues. At 10.30, Mr. Oliver Tonby, Senior partner and Managing Director, McKinsey Oil & Gas, Indonesia, will talk about “Cracking the code for Asia - what Norwegian busi-


Summit in Singapore nesses can do to capture the biggest growth wave of recent times. This will at 10.50 be followed by a panel discussion between Mr. Oyvind Eriksen, CEO, Aker ASA, Mr. Carl Arnet, CEO, BW Offshore, Mr. Sigve Brekke, President, Telenor Asia, Mr. Thor Jorgen Guttormsen, President, Norwegian Shipowners Association, moderated by the former speaker, Mr. Oliver Tonby.

Are we up for it? After lunch, the first session is headlined “Are we up for the challenge?” The three speaker Ms. Aase Aulie Michelet, member of the board of Orkla ASA, Norske Skog ASA Cermaq ASA and Photocure ASA, Mr. Per M. Ristvedt, Managing Partner of Wikborg Rein & Co., Singapore, and the Swedish speaker on business creativity Mr. Frederik Haren. After a coffee break, a panel discussion will sum up the day. The panelists are Ms. Gunn Ovesen, President and CEO, Innovation Norway, His Excellency Knut Solem, Ambassador of Norway to the Philippines, Ms. Aase Aulie Michelet, member of the board of Orkla ASA, Norske Skog ASA Cermaq ASA and Photocure ASA, Mr. Victor D. Norman, Ph. D. Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration and former Norwegian Minister of Labor and Government Administration, and Prof. Jorgen Orstrom Moller, Visit-

ing Senior Research Fellow,Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and former Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore. At 18.30 there are cocktails followed by a BBQ Dinner by the poolside.

Saturday 1 October The morning session on Saturday is a closer look at five case stories or Norwegian companies that are and have been making a difference in Asia - and what can be learned from this.

The five companies will be Telenor Group, Sarawak Energy Berhad, PT Sulawesi Mini Power - Tinfos AS / KF Gruppen AS, probably Jotun China and finally a company from the Philippines to be selected later. After the lunch at the Terrace, there is a Norwegian Business Chambers’ Meeting with limited participation to formally end the Norway -Asia Business Summit 2011.

days. Apart from that, a guided tour of Singapore followed by a lunch downtown is offered on Friday and in the afternoon a spa treatment is suggested at one of the Sentosa Resort & Spa’s tempting pampering spas. The spouse program is flexible and can be selected for certain parts only.

Spouse programme

The latest program and application form can be downloaded from www.nbas.org.sg

Spouses are welcome to the cocktail receptions and meals on all three

Organized by:

In Cooperation with:

Main Sponsor:

August 2011 • ScandAsia.Singapore 11


From Dean to President :

Professor Bertil Ander In July, Professor Bertil Andersson officially took over the highly prominent position as President of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. There, he had already been Provost (the person in charge of all academic matters) since 2007, enticed by the university’s unprecedented research investments and interest in cutting-edge scientific research and technological innovations across multiple disciplines. By Joakim Persson

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ow a Swedish headmaster and plant biochemist could climb to such heights in Singapore is a remarkable feat that certainly must have its special reasons. Among no less than 650 distinguished candidates from around the world he had been handpicked for the job to further spearhead development at the rapidly growing university. “It almost feels as if Singapore is the academic centre of the world!” explained the university’s new poster boy (starring, as he recently was, in an advertising campaign by NTU in Singapore’s public transportation system) while he received on campus to tell us the story so far and about all the exciting ongoing things. “I’ve done most things and been a successful researcher, so of course I possess a lot of experience. Then

12 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2011

coming to a place on the up, where there are resources and the political will - I usually compare with Europe where one talks about the knowledge-based society. In Singapore one walks the talk.” Its government has put so much money into research and development - much more than many other countries in the world. Only within research on sustainability NTU alone now possesses no less than S$ 830 million! According to the Swede, NTU is now a university which has really arrived on the world stage and that Singapore and its education is in mode. While Singaporeans have not yet fully realised what a top-notch, world-class university they have at their doorstep the expanding NTU has increasingly caught the attention of foreign students, now being hotter than what universities in the U.S used

to be, the new President believes. “They vote with their feet and come here. Several thousand students are from Europe. And just as NTU is sexy for researchers, Singapore is groovy for young people. And they are the ones who feel even more what is hip and trendy. And of course it helps that the English language comes along automatically here.” Also for the world-renowned academic himself and all the topnotch researchers from far and near that he has so far successfully recruited, NTU is a big draw and few countries can compete in attractiveness with Singapore. The fact alone that someone on such a prestigious position as Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg (along with similar European assignments) opted for Singapore speaks volumes.


rsson’s Climb at NTU “Leaving Europe had nothing to do with that I did not find it interesting but because of that the job offer here was so attractive,” explained the professor. In the capacity of having been assigned to coordinate the scientific research on EU level the previous rector of Linköping University in Sweden became a consultant in various advisory boards – including the Singapore government’s Scientific Advisory Board of the National Research Foundation. “Seeing what was happening here - large investments, R&D and a rapid tempo etc. - I became impressed after having worked trying to get 27 countries within the EU to back up the same opinion. Sometimes one gets a bit disillusioned.” Aside the top EU positions Bertil Andersson has a close association with the world-renowned Swedish Nobel Prize. From 1989 to 1997, he was a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, and thereafter had the same position as part of the Nobel Foundation. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nobel Foundation. “We award Nobel Prizes in Sweden which is the absolutely most prestigious prize within science. And being able to partake in selecting the prize winner is a fantastic privilege, and getting access to the best research in the world. I used to liken it with the Piccadilly Circus of Science; where everything flashes before your eyes.” The Professor has had the pleasure of attending no less than 25 Nobel Prize Awards and Dinners. “And I must say that I never get tired of it because each time it’s such a fantastic, happy feast! And I meet Nobel Nobel laureates saying: ‘You Swedes know how to throw a party!’ as they praise this celebration of science,” he smiles. On site at NTU, their endowed Institute of Advanced Studies is the platform where they have a very strong relationship with Nobel laureates the world over, promoting science and technology at the highest level. The research institute has attracted no less than 10 such sci-

entists to its panel of International Advisors, and regularly flies in Nobel laureates and other science giants to “enrich the life and work of the university community”. “We hold very high-class conferences there, not least within physics but also chemistry and medicine where Nobel Laureates come and hold lectures for other researchers but also for students.” The Professor also shares the honour with other distinguished scientists of having been awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal in 2010 for his work in biochemistry research, an accolade that counts Nobel laureates among its recipients. “What’s remarkable - If I should boast a bit - is that there are only 15 Nobel winners who have been awarded this price; Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and Mr. Wernher von Braun, the inventor of the satellite, being among them.” Deeply honoured Professor Andersson hopes the medal will help to further promote NTU’s international recognition and attract top talents here. Producing a Nobel Prize winner is certainly on his mind as it has got the right investments in place now. And its new focus on interdisciplinary research - part of the professor’s educational redefining and institutional changes - will usher in an era of new discoveries that “are happening at the interface between disciplines, for example, between engineering and medicine.” “Should NTU be awarded any Nobel Prize in the future it has high value not only for the winner but also for the actual university, even some other prizes of certain status help.” The award is in recognition of the research he has done leading forward to the creation of artificial leaves as well as his contributions to European and Austrian research. As for Bertil Andersson’s extensive research into photosynthesis, it is evident that this is now beginning to play a highly significant part in mankind’s hunt for new energy resources - with the ultimate goal to be able to replicate what green leaves have been doing for hun-

dreds of millions of years. Once artificial systems are able to generate fuels such as hydrogen and methanol, the professor’s prediction that ‘Green is gold’ becomes a truly brilliant tagline. His work also constitutes an excellent example of that basic research can be useful and is the applied research of tomorrow. A Nobel laureate once told him: ‘there are only two kinds of research: applied and not yet applied.’ “Back then one could not see how the photosynthesis research could be useful. Meanwhile there are already many Nobel prices relating to this throughout the years.” “We have established the drawings and now the task is to utilize this. The research is very intense now and within five years one should be able to have artificial leaves that can produce the photosynthesis.” In the wake of the nuclear accident in Japan he is also seeing a stronger interest in alternative energy solutions. “It accentuates our position between a rock and a hard place, fossil fuels and the threat of climate change, and it will lead to everyone understanding that we must put more efforts into research within the energy sector. And I’d say that we have a fantastic opportunity to develop other ways to generate energy conversion systems.” “If one looks at what we should be doing research on in the future, of course health will always be a challenge but I must say that energy is the most important one. It’s almost as if one would like to see a Global Manhattan Project for energy,” says the President who also thinks we have twenty lost years in energy research to catch up on. “I have, as the Provost, walked the talk and put enormous resources; brains and money and bricks into starting Eri@n, the Energy Research Institute, which already has attracted S$ 300 million. And I’d like to point out that we are the largest technical university in the world and should we as such not invest into one of the largest challenges we are facing today, then something would be

wrong.” The JTC Clean Tech Park being set up will also give green research and innovation another boost in pushing the boundaries of green sustainability and conjuring up clean technology solutions. The professor has also been playing an instrumental role in establishing tie-ups with world-class foreign universities much thanks to NTU’s commitment to blazing new trails in teaching, research and service. And he has proved to be a heavy-weight talent magnet in recruiting world-acclaimed researchers and academics, enticing them (including some Scandinavians) with such an attractive offer that NTU and Singapore stand for today. No wonder when they can get research grants that they could not imagine even in their wildest dreams over in Europe! Bertil Andersson can also take credit for that his university has reached an exceptional record of attracting research grants. NTU is building an innovation and enterprise ecosystem on campus as part of its identity to create an environment where new ideas and risk-taking are encouraged. “Especially in a country like Singapore which must spearhead innovation there’s a push that all research should be useful as soon as possible, while in Sweden we are doing it by tradition,” he compares. “Sweden is a good research country, no question about that, but one thinks too Swedish. On a relative scale, here 52 per cent of the researchers come from outside Singapore. In Sweden I can guess that number is down to 5 per cent and very few Swedes work within research abroad.” It is within interdisciplinary education and research the large scientific advances take place and new companies are being started, he thinks. “We are good at mixing disciplines in Sweden while here it is still too structured; one builds Berlin walls between the different disciplines, so we’re trying to tear those down.”

August 2011 • ScandAsia.Singapore 13


Changing Patterns for a Better World: Qi GLOBAL Mette Kristine Oustrup co-founded in 2009 the Singapore-based Qi - a global network of thought leaders in design, innovation and sustainability. It is a movement and a business and it has room for you. By Joakim Persson

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n 2009 Mette Kristine Oustrup co-founded the Singaporebased Qi, a global network of leaders in design, innovation and sustainability. Qi is a most fascinating Internetbased social enterprise focused on sustainable innovation and development, aspiring to generate positive change by pushing the social and environmental agenda in our societies. The message is clear and more people are beginning to understand it. Exploitation has exceeded the limit that nature can bear and ‘business as usual’ will not be sufficient as it disregards its true value. Poorly managed economic growth continues to worsen many environmental problems. The scale and scope of the challenges we face are daunting and, businesses and consumers out there asking questions like, what can we do or where are the solutions? It is not a small issue that the successful Danish entrepreneur has devoted her creativity to launching Qi GLOBAL thus scripting a better future for the world. The method is positive and focused on optimism, which is, moving to a sustainable society, is exciting and beneficial. Mankind has the potential to change certain patterns and preserve nature but the challenge lies in finding that particular new path to sustainable growth. This is where Qi GLOBAL seeks to play a part in coming up with the proper solutions. The start up of Qi GLOBAL is best explained through Mette Kris-

14 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2011

tine’s own background. Previously, she had worked for the fashion brand DIESEL and also started a trend agency called Style-Vision in France. “On one hand, professionally, I was actively pushing for more consumption in sectors often exploiting natural resources and vulnerable people such as fashion. On the other hand, privately, I used to be very interested in politics, reading all the serious newspapers as a young girl. Later, I was involved in charity as the head of a fund-raising for children’s charity in China. Due to the consistent increase of climate change concerns, I had also become a keen environmentalist.” The successful Dane started thinking twice about how she was conducting her way of life. “There was a stage when I thought ‘why am I doing one thing during the day and something else during the night? Why can’t I do both during the day?’ which may be a business generating revenue but for a good cause.’ That was how Qi was born. Based in a discreet shop house office in Bugis, Singapore, Kristine is also a Goodwill Ambassador for Copenhagen here. Kristine strongly believes in social entrepreneurship and that one can do good both professionally and as an individual. “I think you can bring your heart to work and still be successful and I believe this in general for people. That is what we are aiming to show through Qi, that we can create an en-

terprise that is successful in environmental, social and financial aspects.” Qi is pronounced ‘Chi’ which stands for the ‘natural life source of everything’ in Chinese. It is about bringing together the thinkers and doers spearheading a new paradigm for a sustainable world. As for the ‘chi’ connection Kristine explains that the motive behind using it is that in social and environmental fields, there are many negative people and news. “I have little girls and I know that when they grow up they might become depressed by the sheer amount of negativity and the uncertainties about the future,” she said. Now we know it’s a finite planet and we’re trashing the place for future generations. Thomas L. Friedman has written about the Green Revolution: a really massive global revolution can only be happening because of you wanting to change something for the better. Not because you’re so scared about what will happen in the future, ‘cause when you are you’ll react negatively by rejecting, lying.” ‘Global’ refers to the French translation of encompassing and holistic. While many people are specialized in something, such as clean tech or sustainable fashion, they prefer to focus on the big picture, by having ten different communities which ranges from fashion and design to energy and CSR. Their next Qi 2011 event is taking place 13-14 October 2011 in Singapore and has been themed


‘Meeting of Asia’s Best Minds on Innovation’. The idea of the theme came from one of last year’s speakers, President Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste, who said: ‘What you do is gathering Asia’s best minds. You focus the talks on solutions and innovations and you don’t need to say sustainable because everything has to be that anyway.’ Those coming to their events are already convinced or curious, and most definitely aware that about Asia constituting the early adopters who understand the need for all of us doing our bit to make the needed structural changes to how we live. The summit as well as Qi innovation workshops have proven to invigorate people to think and act according to how their decisions will affect future generations, becoming proactive instead of reactive. Out-of-the-box ideas already realized are presented and new collaborations lead to churning out creative solutions. “We’ve had several speakers and sponsors who are now working together on projects.” “It is the ‘how?’, ‘what to do about it?’, and ‘where do we go from here?’ that matters and that is an inspiring area to be in because it simply means that every day I meet amazing people and social entrepreneurs who create new businesses and projects. They are the ones who are going to drive it,” she said. She added “I also meet people who are inside the companies,

pushing the environmental and social agenda.” “It is really a part of something bigger and we are the forefront of sustainable innovation in Asia. You are a movement so if companies want to be part of it, they can join in, and the ones that wish to explore further, can negotiate with us about consultancy services that are more on a case-by-case customized to their needs. How does Kristine deal with the very obvious prevailing lack of consideration for the relationship between economic growth and sustainability? “I am stepping out of the box, instead of standing in there. Let’s forget for a second about economic growth as the only way forward. Let’s think about how you can create a society that has some kind of economic model, and we’re not talking about going back to the Stone Age, that is financially sustainable but also embracing the people and the planet. That is the big idea I am conveying to people who are doing this in various fields. For example, what if all the stock exchanges are rating not only the financial but also the social result, and potentially the environmental result? This is what Impact Investment Exchange Asia is doing, creating the world’s first social stock exchange. What if we created rural-urban areas, villages that are so attractive that you’d want to stay? What if we got into not using oil but energy

from sugar palms like Willie Smits is pioneering?” Kristine goes on to list examples from the last summit, chocolate bars that contribute to planting trees, a one-car-per-family rule, fashion bags that provides poor women education, cruises that protect endangered species, etc. All of them concrete steps for what we can do tomorrow. “Why don’t we? Let’s get started! That’s what we want to show. Hopefully we will start some waves of change. Actually we can see that we’re doing that already,” she expressed. Also, the governments and policy makers play a key role in ensuring all reasonable and economically viable measures are implemented to provide the balance between human progress and nature’s preservation. “The pricing is very important to really create the framework for pushing this motive forward. As long as energy is such as oil and electricity is cheap, we won’t have the big breakthroughs because the [renewable] alternatives are too expensive. I don’t think people can push this through, neither can businesses, if they can’t make money out of it. But the governments can make it expensive to do bad things and cheaper to do good things. Politicians are using the voters as an excuse, but I do believe it is time for being bold now.” “Positive change can be achieved, it just takes action,” she passionately concludes.

Why don’t we? Let’s get started! That’s what we want to show. Hopefully we will start some waves of change. Actually we can see that we’re doing that already.

3

things You Can Do To Help! 1. Sign up to Qi 2011 the 13-14 October in Singapore on http://www.qi-global.com/ register. Early bird rate tickets starts at 650 SGD, group discounts available. 2. Join one of the free communities online (facebook and LinkedIn). Sign up here: http://www.qi-global.com/topics 3. Watch free Qi videos on http://www.qi-global.com/talks and learn more...

August 2011 • ScandAsia.Singapore 15


Banker Vesa Kalenius In the Midst of Brisk Business F Vesa Kalenius is the new Chairman of Board for the Finnish Business Council (FBC) as well as a corporate banker at Handelsbanken in Singapore, with vast experience of Asia. In these roles he can contribute to increasing trade and business both between the Nordic countries and Singapore plus Asia at large. By Joakim Persson

BC promotes investment over in Singapore and Scandinavian clients of the bank here generate more business also back there. And for those who wonder how large Nordic banks actually operate over in Asia, Vesa can share many insightful details - including how they coped with the recent financial crisis. A Senior Account Manager, Corporate Banking, Export & Project Finance, he has been in Asia for over eleven years now, since moving to Beijing back in 1999 and then on to Shanghai in 2002. He started off with a Finnish bank in Beijing and ended up being transferred to a German bank in Shanghai, yet looking after the Scandinavian clients. Then, in 2007, he started with Handelsbanken in Shanghai and was moved to Singapore a year later. This Swedish bank has been longer than any other Nordic bank in China (since 1982). “We were the first Nordic bank to open a full branch in Shanghai by 2005. When I moved to Singapore we were just about to get the local currency license as well. So we are a forerunner of Nordic banking in China.” “Basically I have two jobs; one being in charge of export and project finance business and the other one is to look after Finnish corpo-

16 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2011

rate clients in Singapore as well as Southeast-Asia.” “A typical export finance transaction would include a Nordic telecom company selling to an operator here in Asia. We don’t finance the telecom client per se; we finance the operator and they use the loan to buy equipment from Scandinavia. Then we typically get export credit risk support from export credit agencies - in Finland from Finnvera, in Sweden from EKN - and what they do is provide political as well as commercial risk cover. So we don’t take the full risk of the buying entity, but share the risk with an ECA”. “In order for us to get involved with export credit transactions, the exporter must be from our regional banking markets, e.g the four Nordic countries or the U.K. These are the countries where we have street level branches serving both retail as well as the corporate sector.” “Export credit transactions are typically fairly large,” adds Vesa, ”as they naturally require quite a lot of work and so forth. Usually these belong to large industries; telecom being one prime example, or heavy industry machinery such as cranes, power plants, etc. which Finland is specialized on. Naturally, the paper sector is also one of these as this is what Finland is very famous for.” Then there are Scandinavian

companies setting up operations over here and becoming customers of Handelsbanken Singapore branch. “Scandinavian companies present in this region are usually also our clients back home. If they want to get financing locally, the way we work in Handelsbanken is as follows. We have a branch in e.g. Finland which handles the overall relationship with the company’s head office and holds a total loan exposure limit with it. Then this branch assigns a part of this limit to us and we provide financing for the Singaporean entity. This way we can provide the Singaporean company pretty much the same pricing as the head office gets but our risk is still confined back in Finland and on the head office. In addition to that, we have a few Finnish clients whom we are working with only in Asia and generate some business that way as well. By helping them here we’re using Asia as way to get to do business with them also back home.” “Also, in Singapore with so called local mandates we can do financing for fully local companies. These are typically large scale blue chip corporations in Singapore. This makes us slightly different compared to other Nordic banks which are doing strictly Nordic-related business. Yet, our mandate is limited to


Also, in Singapore with so called local mandates we can do financing for fully local companies. These are typically large scale blue chip corporations in Singapore. This makes us slightly different compared to other Nordic banks which are doing strictly Nordic-related business.

certain large, well rated companies and institutions.” It is well-know by now that the most recent global financial meltdown did not affect Asia too much. Handelsbanken, being a conservative bank became even more careful during that period - perhaps too cautious in Vesa’s perspective from over here. In hindsight, the bank lost some good opportunities here due to being cautious. “Even though we did well during the crisis and most of Asian countries grew pretty well even in 2009, it was not a particularly happy period and luckily now things are much more vibrant. It’s still much more fun to work in an environment where things are moving forward than when you have to really be concerned about tomorrow,” thinks the Finn. “Surprisingly, some banks, we thought would not survive, are back in business again. Definitely there is much more business to be done at the moment; companies are back investing, selling and planning for future expansions.” As for increasing the operations in Asia Vesa, who deals a lot with the countries in the region, says that they are naturally looking of ways to do more and more all the time. “We had actually planned to expand to new countries before

the crisis, yet these plans are now put on hold. Personally I am more positive towards Asia after being based here for a long time and on everything I see here. But Asia is still relatively marginal for us and we naturally try to grow first on the markets we know very well. And then gradually move towards areas which are further away from home markets but where we see more and more Scandinavian investment and interest.” When Vesa visits Finland he also promotes FBC and its mission, which is perhaps broader than many other business associations: to promote trade between Finland and the various countries of Southeast Asia. “Whenever I’m in Finland I always mention FBC to clients and friends. And my work relates that I have to sell Singapore and the whole of SoutheastAsia to Finland as well. Then, we also try increasingly to keep more contact with the other chambers and business councils within the area just to get more coordination and more info on what they are doing. As you can find FBC in at least most capital cities in Asia, these should be utilized more because there’s a lot of information that you can find when e.g. setting up business there, What I would do if travelling for the first time in Asia, would be to check if there is FBC as well as Finpro and get as much info from these

guys as possible both on business and leisure side. It’s something we have been discussing within FBC and with Finpro that we should try to get slightly more coordinated in Asia.” Here in Singapore it is fairly easy to get information on pretty much everything, but take for example China where this is much more difficult. During my time there I saw so many companies that could have avoided a number of mistakes just by contacting for example FBC, Finpro, myself or somebody who has been in the area somewhat longer. They encountered exactly the same problems as companies had many years ago, and why!? It’s a waste of money, time - everything. Why did not they just call and ask for advice! Even the competitors - they will naturally not give you trade secrets or such - are usually willing to advice whom to contact, how to do this and that, etc.” Singapore is still fairly important for Finnish companies. FBC celebrated its 25th anniversary last year and Vesa has compared the number of members with 25 years ago. “The amount is almost the same today, which means that even though Singapore in some respect is losing its importance of being the Asian centre, because now people are setting up almost everywhere - or many concentrating their operations

to big markets such as China - they still have their offices left here, so it hasn’t really lost in that respect.” “The trend is that FBC is now getting SME companies within the IT Sector, environment sector and so on, which is good to notice. In addition, we are gaining more individual members; both who work for Nordic companies and as well as for foreign companies”. “What makes Singapore good is that it has very good banking, legal setup and infrastructure etc. and everything work well. Then another side is that it’s a very good hub. It’s easy to travel around; everything’s relatively close by. I’m in Hanoi in three hours and in India in less than five.” Personally Vesa and his family have no specific plans or dates to move on. “For the time being I like Singapore very much, both living- and family-wise. The work has been very rewarding in Asia and on the personal side, e.g. education for the children is good and the city is very safe and has little pollution problems. I never ever would have stayed so long in Asia if the work would not have been so interesting. Things are happening all time. Yet, I like China, especially Shanghai, and I wouldn’t mind moving back there sometime. There is more buzz, here it’s more relaxed.”

August 2011 • ScandAsia.Singapore 17


The Water Experts Danish DHI instrumental for Singapore’s improvements in Environmental Protection By Joakim Persson

T

he independent, Danish consulting and research organisation, DHI is one of those niche companies that do not make much noise but nevertheless play instrumental roles within business and society, in this case benefiting the protection of our environment - especially when it comes to water and coastal areas. With its largest overseas office located in Singapore, the hub for the region, DHI has now moved in, as among the first companies, at the new CleanTech Park near Nanyang Technological University (NTU) which aims to be a “showcase for innovative, sustainable solutions for tropical urban settings”. Belonging to the clean technology sector, the official office start-up in 2003 was preceded by several large engagements in Singapore. DHI describes the world’s coasts as diverse dynamic morphological systems encompassing spectacular arrays of windswept beaches, tidal inlets, rocky coasts and coral reefs. “Their beauty and importance are second to none and are considered one of our favourite recreational destinations.” At the same time there is everincreasing pressure on the coasts

18 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2011

from the competing needs of commercial, recreational and residential interests, not least in Singapore where land is scarce. Careful planning and comprehensive assessment is required to preserve these complex coastal dynamics and to safeguard our magnificent coasts for future generations, explains the Danish firm. If not before, Singapore’s government got alerted to the consequences of NOT doing this when it was sued by Malaysia in an international tribunal for causing negative environmental impact on Malaysian shores, corals, mangroves etc. Then, DHI was called in as independent reviewer and to set up a study to actually document and quantify the status of the waters, explains Peter Rasch at DHI Water & Environment.

Support systems for environmental protection DHI are experts within environmental impact and monitoring management; coastal, port engineering; and water resources management etc. so they have become increasingly important for Singapore, a country which is expanding its land and which has among the busiest ports in the world. Coastal structures, ports and terminals and environmental impact assessment are all covered. Pollution control of industry and wastewater is one area where they assist, for example when the ships need to clean their ballast water. How they go about this is to combine physical and numerical modelling approaches with field data and coming up with support systems to achieve innovative and cost-effective solutions. ”It’s basically a tool where decision-makers can have all this information digested into a web site and shape their decisions in a simple way.” DHI has exported the concept of monitoring during construction, which was successfully used for instance during the construction of the bridge between Sweden and Denmark. A management plan is extended

so you also monitor how well you are minimizing the impact and quantify it in an independent way, where the sea is our focus, says Peter. “We’ve been working with the zero impact solution for some years here now and put in more technologies, collaboration and understanding to a level that we are actually exporting it back to Denmark for the planned link being planned between Denmark and Germany,” he adds. A core business is obviously that Singapore is reclaiming land and building on it. “Singapore has grown 25 per cent in last 20 years, so they are making new land on the outskirts of Singapore.” And a lot of planning, design and construction of ports and marine structures as well as marine operations take place. Then significant consideration must go into safe and efficient operations and minimal environmental impact.

Singapore improved thanks to DHI It is fair to say the non-profit company has played an instrumental role for Singapore to improve its environmental protection efforts. “Definitely, no doubt about it! We work very closely with the government doing the big developments. And because our objective is to train we run courses for them and teach them how to scrutinize the reports that we and other consultants make, so I’d say that yes their level has definitely improved.” In late 2007 the DHI-NTU Water & Environment Research Centre and Education Hub was jointly established with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore with the purpose to work towards development of environmentally friendly solutions, tools and technologies to support a sustainable ecology. Training of professionals is included. “It comes back to the purpose with DHI to bring knowledge within the fields of water and environment; people are constructing anyway so


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Any Design For Any Size Ladies & Men, Including Leather Alterations Delivery Ready let’s do it in a way working with nature rather than against. Thus we’re bringing in physics and chemistry into this world of guys with big machines. In Europe it’s of course well established with all these requirements when you build something that you have to document. But in Asia you don’t have that. The tolerance limits set up by government agencies where none when we first came there.” Within climate change the willingness within businesses to take this into account is not really there yet, however there is recognition, thinks Peter. “It’s definitely something they

want to consider but doing it simply. Contractors don’t really want to pay. But nobody has any doubts any more that it’s coming.” It will definitely become increasingly important for DHI. “There is something happening to the world. We also see ourselves sitting in-between there. You have the global climate change models forecasting the next hundred years. But that’s on a very broad-scale. When you try to downscale what’s going to happen in a coastal town, then you need to have the knowledge that we have about the local coast, and combine that with a climate change scenario.”

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August 2011 • ScandAsia.Singapore 19


The Coach Behind th

The Singapore Vikings were one of the teams to walk away as champions at the Viking Cup tournament in Bangkok this year. It’s coach, Michael Jorgensen, 30, shares about living in Singapore for the past 10 years and about the only thing he misses about home, his family.

We had no strategy. We just wanted to win.

By Kristene Silva Marie

M

ichael left Denmark and arrived at his destination, Beijing, in 2002. He had been working in Maersk Bulk, Denmark and was to move out due to his job requirements. He soon reached a foreign land, unfamiliar and strange. Although much of what he saw and went through every day was new, he soon began feeling comfortable and got used to his daily routines. After working in Beijing for five years, he proceeded to his next destination, Singapore, in early 2007. In Singapore, again, he needed to adapt and get used to the new surroundings. His involvement in football began with the Viking football teams, both in Beijing and Singapore. In the teams, he found a group and family he could relate to and rely on. When in Beijing, he had been introduced to the team and soon was actively involved in playing and even organising the team matters.

Working “I shifted to Singapore from Beijing because of my job. The opportunities for shipping there were more limited and moving here could open up new avenues for business because of the constant launch of new companies every week,” he said about his job.

According to Michael, Singapore is a very nice place to be for an expat. He said there are always a lot of things happening and the government is taking efforts in making it very easy for expats to live here. As the Chartering Manager in Klaveness Asia based in Singapore, Michael’s job requires him to maintain international contacts with customers, suppliers, ship’s personnel and all the other service providers in the maritime transport and port industries. He also needs look into analysing the transport and cargo markets while making sure that the company sees attractive market oriented offers. He also plans and takes care of the transport of goods by sea and ensures that costs are calculated well. On the interpersonal relations aspect, Michael has to be sure to inform the clients on the freight schedules and rates. With that, he is to organise the pre- and postcarriage of goods and containers. With so much to do, Michael still finds himself able to get up and participate in the Vikings team.

Football Back in Denmark, Michael used to be very involved in handball which is a game similar to football with the exception of it being conducted with players’ hands, instead of feet. He was first introduced to the Beijing Vikings by a friend. Since

20 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2011

then, he started playing for the team enjoying every minute of his time there. He had the chance to meet many other expats living in Beijing. During that time, the team was being coached by a Finnish person. Soon, the coach was about to leave and the team saw the need of a new coach. That was when Michael was asked to take the vacant seat as the new coach of the Beijing Vikings. Five years later, Michael was transferred to Singapore. Once again he was placed amidst new people, culture and environment. Somehow, he found his way to the Singapore Vikings team, to which he soon belonged to and played for. History repeated itself when the Michael was made coach of the team. Being familiar to the role, Michael took the responsibility and appointed Thomas Sorenson as the Assistant Coach. As a coach, Michael is required to send out emails to the members of the team informing them of schedules, matches and players. He also prepares a weekly schedule for the team for matches they are to play or things they are set to do. “At the end of the day, the Vikings team is a big group of friends who appreciate life and do not want to miss any possible chance to make living it spectacular,” he said. The team participates in many friendly-matches and games. Most of the time, their opponents are

local football teams. They usually compete on Sundays. The team have their weekly practices every Tuesday. “The Singapore Vikings is made up of mostly Danish players with other nationalities who are somehow linked to the Scandinavian society, especially if the company they work for is Scandinavian,” Michael explained. Two of the team’s sponsors mentioned by Michael are Sydbank and Charlie’s grill. Charlie’s Grill is one of the team’s common hangout spot especially after the games to just get together and have fun with their family and girlfriends.

Viking Cup Bangkok Together with his team, Michael had gone to Bangkok this year to compete against other Viking teams at the Viking Cup tournament. “I did not play for Singapore this year, I played for the new team, Sing-jing, which is actually a combination of Singapore and Beijing,” Michael said. He explained that the reason for the merge was due to the extra players on both sides of the teams. They could be fitted into one team so they decided to form an alliance group under the pseudonym, Singjing. While Singapore received their share of the champion title, the Bangkok Vikings (Team two) also


he Winning Team shared that title. “We could not actually compete against our final contender, Bangkok (two) because of a heavy storm that ended any chance of the final match being played,” he said. “We did not have any particular strategy but all we knew was that we wanted to win because the last time we won was two years ago,” Michael continued. The Singapore team brought very special line of cheerleaders this year. Their cheers of support could be heard through the tents on the field. “They are all our wives or girlfriends who decided that they all wanted to show support to the players by giving them this form of motivation,” Michael said. The girls won best cheerleaders at the gala dinner of the Viking cup this year. They were called on stage to be appreciated by all the other players who had participated in the matches and were present there.

Family Michael said that he has no intentions of going back to Denmark just yet. He is quite satisfied with his job and team here. He has also found

love in Singapore and is enjoying the feeling. About the differences between Denmark and Singapore, Michael laughed and said “After 10 years

of staying here, there isn’t really anything new to me, to me, this is home.” “My family is my father, mother and elder brother, who has children with his life partner,” Michael explained. His brother has two sons, making Michael a proud uncle who enjoys the company of his nephews. He mentioned that these days he makes trips back to Denmark more often than he used to before his nephews were born. “I used to go back to Denmark in the summer and during Christmas, but now, I tend to go back more often, maybe three or four times a year, so I can spend time with my nephews,” he said. When asked about what he misses the most from Denmark, one would expect him to say the food, four seasons or people but Michael states as a matter-of-factly that it is only his family that he misses dearly.

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Medium

Strawberries with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar For most Scandinavians summertime means strawberries. Lots of strawberries. Au naturel with cream and sugar or as the main ingredients in cakes, pies and currant pudding.

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hen you have completed the above puzzles, please send your solution by fax to +66 2 943 7169 or scan and email to puzzles@ scandasia.com. We will make a lucky draw among the correct answers. Five lucky winners will receive a ScandAsia polo shirt. Name:

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aid with all due respect, strawberries from Thailand can not compete with Scandinavian berries. In Asia, you have the pineapple, the mango, the…… But we got the strawberries. Conditions like growing up in the cool nights and with many hours of daylight gives the Scandinavian strawberries an unbeatable intensity in both flavor and aroma. But you should not give up on the Asian strawberries, they just need to be upgraded. That is easily done by adding black pepper and Balsamic vinegar. Black pepper and balsamic vinegar will intensify the flavor of the strawberries and bring out their sweetness, and now the berries are great with both sweet and savory dishes. Try them in a green salad with goat cheese, or serve them for dessert over ice cream or cake. Ingredients: • 500 grams of ripe strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced • 3 tablespoons sugar • 1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar • Freshly ground coarse black pepper Preparation: • Place the sliced berries in a medium non-reactive bowl (such as glass). • Sprinkle the berries with the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and toss gently to coat. Allow the berries to macerate in the vinegar and sugar mixture for about 15 minutes. • Add 4 to 5 grinds of coarse black pepper to the berries, and toss to coat. Allow the flavors to blend about 5 minutes more before serving. Enjoy!


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ScandAsia Singapore - August 2011  

Magazine for residents from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in Singapore.

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