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AUG 2013


Swedish Rolls Royce on Water 2013 • ScandAsia.Singapore 1

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The future of expats in Asia


here is a growing debate about the future of expats in Asia with an increasing number of observers taking the view that time is running out implying that expats will not be much use here anymore.

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To my mind this is an all too rigorist almost mechanical view of current trends. Admittedly the costs of expats combined with the rising performance level and competence of Asians living here or coming back from the U.S. or Europe makes the traditional expat enjoying extremely lavish treatment and high salaries dying specie. But this is far from the same as saying that the expat does not have a future in Asia. Only it will be another and different expat having adapted to new circumstances. The plain fact, visible in all statistics about education in Asia, tells that an increasing number of Asian graduates from universities, technical universities, and business schools enter the job market including segments hitherto reserved for expats. The statistics and various surveys also shows that not all of them, actually a share much under half depending on which country we look at, has an education comparable with the standard set by Western universities and finds it difficult to be employed by Western multinationals operating in Asia. So the crux is whether the buoyant Asian market calling for higher production, bigger consumption and investment needing more qualified people will outweigh the number of qualified Asians bidding for jobs in Western multinational companies. Add to this the trend that many Asian companies are now entering Western markets. We see the contours of Asian companies transforming themselves into big multinational companies competing with Western multinationals and consequently entering the American and European market – a process that obviously opens job opportunities for expats, maybe not in a Western company doing business in Asia, but for an Asian company doing business in the U.S. or Europe. These tendencies or trends will generate job opportunities in Asia. But it also follows that the job opportunities will be different and no expat can expect conditions offered say ten or fifteen years ago. Wages, holidays, school allowances, and insurance will gradually be brought in line with what an Asian employee costs. The difference between an expat and an Asian in costs will reflect the difference in performance and competence and there is no doubt that Asian graduates are catching up albeit there may still be some way to go. The Western expat must hone skills to perform in other kinds of jobs and increasingly spot opportunities for job openings in Asian multinationals looking at penetrating Western markets. Adapt and accept wages and working conditions to be more Asian in the future. If so there is definitely a future for expats in Asia.

Finn Balslev Piyanan Kalikanon Nattapat Maesang Graphic Designer : Supphathada Numamnuay Distribution : Wanvisa Rattanaburi Printing : Advance Printing Services Co., Ltd.

Daily news and features here:

Joergen Oerstroem Moeller Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. Adjunct Professor Singapore Management University & Copenhagen Business School. Author of: • HOW ASIA CAN SHAPE THE WORLD, from the era of plenty to the era of scarcities, 2011 • Political Economy in a Globalized World, 2009.

Coming Events World-class improvised comedy “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Date: 22 – 24 August 2013, 8.30pm Location: klapsons The Boutique Hotel Presented by GUINNESS, the original stars of the legendary hit British TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” will perform in Singapore for the first time! Featuring talented comedians Andy Smart, Stephen Frost, Steven Steen and Ian Coppinger, every show is different depending on audience suggestions. The live show will certainly entertain the Singapore fans of the TV show. The deal with a buffet dinner at Klapsons before the show is also available.

Placebo Live in Singapore 2013 Date: 27 August 2013, 8.00pm Location: The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel, Singapore Resorts World, Sentosa The renowned English alternative rock band “Placebo” will perform live in Singapore on Tuesday August 27! Formed in London in 1994, the band currently consists of Brian Molko (singer-guitarist), Stefan Olsdal (guitarist-bassist), and Steve Forrest (drummer). Known for its strong sounds in rock, unique blend of music and great live performances, the band have released six studio albums, all of which have reached the top 20 in the United Kingdom. With over 12 million album sales worldwide, the band will release their new album “Loud Like Love” on September 16.

Pitbull Global Warming Tour Date: 31 August 2013, 8.00pm Location: The Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 Get ready to dance the night away! American rapper Pitbull or Armando Pérez will bring the party to Singapore as part of his massive “Global Warming Tour”. The tour is named after his album “Global Warming”, which was released worldwide in November 2012. The album peaked at #14 on the US Billboard chart and reached the #1 position in the US Rap Albums chart. It features songs such as “Don’t Stop The Party”, “Last Night” featuring Havana Brown and Afrojack, “Feel This Moment” featuring Christina Aguilera, which is the third Top 10 hit from the album and “Back In Time”, the chart-topping anthem from the action-adventure-comedy, “Men In Black 3”. Pitbull is known for collaborating with top artists all over the world.

French Movie “Americano” Date: 3 September 2013, 8.30pm Location: Alliance Francaise Theatre Directed by Mathieu Demy, the French drama movie ‘Americano’ will be screened at Alliance Francaise Theatre in French with English subtitles. The movie has sexual scenes and some nudity so viewers should be over 18. Synopsis: In Paris, the relationship between Martin and Claire is at an impasse. His mother’s death suddenly calls Martin back to Los Angeles to deal with inheritance formalities, the town where he spent his childhood. This return to childhood haunts provokes several buried memories that appear to disturb him. After speaking with a neighbour, Martin goes to Tijuana in Mexico, looking for Lola, a close friend of his mother.

Conservatory Orchestra Series: 10th Anniversary Celebration Concert Date: 4 September 2013, 7.30pm Location: Esplanade Concert Hall In celebration of the Young Siew Toh Conservatory of Music’s 10th Anniversary, internationally renowned American conductor Robert Spano, Ong Teng Cheong Professor of Music 2013/14, conducts this special concert. With an extensive discography of 21 critically-acclaimed recordings, Robert Spano has garnered six Grammy Awards and is the Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival and School. The concert will begin with Sibelius’ intensely beautiful one-movement symphony. The conservatory orchestra will then be joined by Head of Piano Studies, Prof Thomas Hecht, in Brahms’ virtuosic and majestic 2nd piano concerto. August 2013 • ScandAsia.Singapore 5

News Brief

Young Asian designers create unconventional air cleaners for Electrolux contest

S Swedish Liberal Party visits Singapore


ed by Swedish Member of Parliament Mr. Johan Pehrson, who is also a chairman of the Committee on Justice, a delegation from the Liberal Party has recently visited Singapore on a study trip to learn more about Singapore’s work with law issues. During the visit, the delegation met with representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs where they were briefed about Singapore’s anti-drug approach by The Central Narcotics Bureau. The Singapore Police Force also informed the delegation how they tackle cybercrimes. Mr. Pehrson also visited the Parliament and met with three Members of Parliament from the Committee for Home Affairs and Law, and SingaporeEurope Friendship Group. The MPs exchanged information and learned from each other.

wedish home and professional appliance company Electrolux recently announced the top 20 semi-finalists for its Electrolux Design Lab 2013 competition, and making the cut are a handful of young designers from Asia with far out concepts. There are six successful Asian aspirants out of the 20 chosen. These semi-finalists have qualified for the fourth stage of the competition, which leads to the culmination night on October 16 in Stockholm where one winner will be selected from a shortlist of eight designers. The Electrolux Design Lab, now on its tenth year, is the annual international design contest of the Swedish global company open to both undergraduate and graduate students who can think of innovative ideas for homes of the future. Ideas can range from designs for healthy eating to intelligent mobility to green designs, just like some of the themes in the past. In this edition, students are tasked to come up with solutions for the theme, “Inspired Urban Living”. This tackles the complex issue of urbanization, and according to Electrolux, the problems that arise from lack of space and people trying to lead comfortable, healthy lives amidst congestion and stress-inducing schedules. Students have to design a product, accessory or service that fits this overarching theme with special focus on one of three topics: social cooking, effortless cleaning and natural air. The semifinalist from Singapore, Wei Kiat Law, created the OZ-1 purifier neckpiece. Stylish and in different colours, the neckpiece became an air purifier that can clean the air around a person in two ways: one by releasing a certain amount of oxidant to neutralize harmful gases, and two, by trapping dust and air particles on its filter.

The OZ-1 air purifier neckpiece created by the semifinalist from Singapore, Wei Kiat Law.

Norway signs amity treaty with ASEAN


orway signed an amity and cooperation treaty with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on July 1, vowing to further develop ties with the 10-member regional bloc. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, who attended the signing ceremony with his ten ASEAN counterparts, said the accession to the treaty is “a natural extension of our long- standing engagement in the region and our commitment to multilateralism.” Eide announced a Norwegian ASEAN Regional Initiatives Fund of 7 million U.S. dollars as a step to further engagement with ASEAN. The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia is a non- aggression and cooperation pact between ASEAN members and partners. First signed by the then ASEAN members of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines in 1976, the non-ASEAN parties to the treaty include China, India, Japan, the United States, Russia and the European Union.

6 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2013

News Brief

Norwegian REC to base its solar business in Singapore


REC’s Chief Executive Ole Enger

oss-making Norwegian solar equipment maker Renewable Energy Corporation will split the company into separate solar and silicon divisions, independently list the two, raise cash and move out of Norway, it said on July 18. REC said it would it will downsize its headquarters outside Oslo, selling off its solar panel division to existing shareholders, move it to Singapore with no debt and ample cash, and recapitalise its silicon unit so it can manage its debt before it moved to the United States. Separately, the firm said its second quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at 152 million Norwegian crowns ($25.00 million), ahead of analysts forecast for 67 million. “By separating these two companies into two very well financed companies, we think we are positioning for organic growth as well as the possible consolidation and restructuring of the industry,” Chief Executive Ole Enger said. “Overall, the solar industry is still very fragmented, it’s poorly financed and certainly ripe for consolidation,” he added. REC has already closed its expensive Norwegian manufacturing base, moving production to Singapore and the United States, regions that will generate the vast majority of the market’s growth in the coming years.

August 2013 • ScandAsia.Singapore 7

News Brief

Former accountant at the Norwegian Church jailed for embezzlement

A Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide

Norway establishes fund for ASEAN


orway has established a US$7 million Norwegian ASEAN Regional Initiatives Fund (NARIF) to boost its engagement with the 10-member regional grouping, the ASEAN Secretariat announced on Friday. According to Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, the fund will support “selected cross-cutting activities of regional importance in-line with ASEAN’s Roadmap” for establishing an ASEAN Community by the end of 2015. This was announced during the signing of ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Bandar Seri Begawan earlier this week. “Norway’s accession to the TAC is a natural extension of our longstanding engagement in the region and our commitment to multilateralism,” the ASEAN Secretariat said in a press release, quoting Eide. The TAC, also known as the Bali Concord I, was first signed by all ASEAN members in 1976 in Bali. It was amended in 1996 to allow non-Southeast Asian countries to accede to the treaty. Aside from Norway, so far 32 countries from across the globe signed the TAC. Thus far, Norway has invested $650 million in Indonesia. In 2010, Norway pledged $1 billion to Indonesia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation under the REDD+ program in a period of six or more years.

8 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2013

former accountant of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Singapore has been sentenced to five years in jail for misappropriating more than S$380,000. Lim Seng Hoo, 56, admitted to two counts of criminal breach of trust. Lim committed the offences between January 2011 and January 2012 when he was working at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church Singapore. As accountant of the church, Lim was given access to its funds and was made an authorized signatory of the church’s bank account. He was also provided with cheques for this account. Court documents stated that Lim siphoned money from the bank account using various methods. He would issue cheques to himself first and then deposit the money into his own account or encash the cheques later. Lim would also use the checks to make payments for his personal bills. He would then try to cover his tracks by disguising the outflow of the cash as loans. But, in January 2012, the head office of the church in Norway asked about the “unauthorized loans”. Lim said the loans were simply internal transfers of funds. He was only found out when the church became unable to contact him. The court heard that no restitution has been made by Lim so far. Lim could have been jailed up to 15 years and fined on each count. The general manager Martin Jansvik has left for Norway and was unable for an interview. In an email to ScandAsia he explains that the church is happy to have the case settled. “This has been a sad case for the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Singapore. This verdict puts an end to a case that has stalled for a long time. Now our focus can be on being a social, cultural and spiritual meeting place for Norwegians and Swedes in Singapore.”

News Brief

Scandinavian Shoppe for sale

Contact Info Phone +65 6476 2575 Email Location Blk 38 Telok Blangah Rise Unit #01-333, Singapore, Singapore 090038 Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm


candinavian Shoppe, the shop specializing in selling Scandinavian products, is looking for anyone interested in buying the business. Since the shop moved away from 30 South Buona Vista Road and into Blk 38 Telok Blangah Rise Unit #01-333, business has been weak and the current owner now wants to allow someone else to give it a try. The shop was originally named “So Delicious”. But in 2007 it was sold to Mel and Michael Thoegersen and renamed “Scandinavian Shoppe” to properly reflect what the shop’s specialty was. Then Mel and Michael Thoegersen were transferred and since then, the shop has been without a Scandinavian in charge of product selection and marketing. Recently, when the shop moved away from its previously known location, it was not communicated to the Scandinavian residents in Singapore even though it was actually not that far from the Danish Seamen’s Church - on the Northern side of Mount Faber. A facebook page was established in spring 2011, but the latest posting is from 5 December 2012. The profile page points to a page on that has since been moved - although it can still be found using the search function. There may be a stock of Scandinavian products to take over along with the shop for anyone interested.

August 2013 • ScandAsia.Singapore 9

Swedish Rolls Ro J Craft’s Torpedo - the centre of attention at Singapore Yacht Show By Joakim Persson


t was not only the Swedish flag that caught our attention, but also the boat it was attached to - a craft of the kind that certainly turned heads of most visitors passing by, at the Singapore Yacht Show held in April. Berthed adjacent to modern and, nearly without exception, all of them shiny white boats and yachts, was this striking 1950’s - 1960’s retro vintage style boat named La Bambola. With its lacquered and varnished mahogany veneer and slick design features this boat from J-Craft of Sweden would fit perfectly in any of those very early James Bond movies – or in the Mediterranean, and in particular in the Scandinavian archipelago of yesteryear. So surprising to find in 2013, and not least in Singapore! But this combination of a vintage look and modern discreetly built-in technology while marrying beautiful materials, exquisitely engineering details and distinctive design is also, as it turned out, attractive in the new century. Today, this rare craft speaks to certain types of customers: connoisseurs and a discerning palette of luxury lifestyle customers. Such clients have eventually given J Craft their stamp of approval, as some 20 boats have eventually been sold in the Mediterra-

10 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2013

nean area after a few really tough first years when the new model was brought to the market. These want something unique designed for them, with a desire to stand out, and the ‘Torpedo’ really caters to that, every single boat to a large extent custom-built to each buyer’s desires. And how fittingly is it not to have the model baptized by no other than James Bond 007 himself, Sir Roger Moore, which took place coinciding with the boat show in Monte Carlo in 2009! Also, the fact that His Majesty Carl Gustav XVl, King of Sweden, owns the very first boat developed back in 1999 has brought a lot of attention in the right circles to J Craft as a brand. It was co-owner Johan Attvik who believed there was a market abroad for this kind of perfect luxury all-rounder. He had bought a J-Craft boat himself back in 2004 and it had been love at first sight. Later he decided to buy into the company, and that was the start of a revival of the boat brand, which had been dormant for some years as a result of the early 2000s recession. “I thought this would be a great concept to bring down to the Mediterranean at that time which we also did a few years later. We bought

every J Craft that was on the used-boats market and redid them so they were as new and started a marketing project taking us all around Europe to showcase this boat, ” explained Johan as he and the co-CEO Aleksandar Milakovic were attending the boat show to promote the Torpedo. Eventually, with no more boats left J Craft conjured up this new model based on all the knowledge and experiences they had accumulated, combined with modern boat technology. “I would say: technically advanced and a much more contemporary boat in that sense – it has the looks of a 60’s – 70’s boat but you can really use it as a very modern boat, as any of these white beauties around here. But we try and bring back what we think has gotten lost in the industry. People smile when they see us, cherish us as a vintage car and so on.” As Johan compared the Torpedo with all the surrounding “white blobs” at the Singapore Yacht Show he described it as the boat that somehow you want to be on, that people look at with desire. “In the last two years one could notice people going more and more modern with their boats and we wanted to do the complete opposite; going back to the 60’s, 70’s and the Brigitte Bardot kind of feel. Obviously the boat has brand new technology in it, but we are hiding it; we don’t want people to see it. That’s our aim,” Aleksandar filled in. This J Craft boat is described in the marketing material as ’a boat like no other’; a combination of classic style and glamour (reflecting a little of la dolce vita) with cutting edge technology, power and contemporary convenience. Form and function are of equal importance for the 42 Ft Torpedo, coming with exhilarating performance. “We developed the hull together with Volvo Penta and installed their IPS propulsion system with a joystick, so you can manoeuvre the boat in a very delicate way. She manoeuvres like a dream really.” Engines come in three different sizes, the 400s, 500s and 600s. With the biggest engines they have achieved speeds with the Torpedo of between 46 to 48 knots. The 350 nautical mile range is also of essential importance to her differentiation. Similar boats can still be found on the market but much smaller. “The Torpedo is much more of a seaworthy vessel. And no problem to go long distance,” Aleksandar explained. “It has the look of an old lake boat, absolutely, but she’s well suited to go from Monaco to Sardinia.”

Royce on Water In these waters it could be from Langkawi to Phuket for instance. It is a powerful boat that can master high seas and rough conditions that other luxury tenders or day boats could not contemplate. J Craft continues to build on the island of Gotland where there is a very strong tradition in building quality boats, with know how and where skilled craftsmen can be sourced to do all the elements perfectly. “You don’t find them everywhere – that I can tell you,” said Johan. “and for a brand of this kind building luxury boats quality is of utmost importance in order to surpass buyers’ expectations.” 4000 man-hours are put into each hand-built boat and consequently it comes at a hefty price tag: 850000 Euro plus VAT as starting price. “Looking at price per foot we’re the second most expensive boat in the world,” concluded Aleksandar matter-of-factly. “But we do produce in Sweden, where the labour is not cheap and we’re fond of the quality and that’s very important to us.” “Being handmade and if you look into the details, it’s not an expensive boat,” thinks Johan. There are certainly very few products of this kind originating from Sweden and they compare themselves with Koenigsegg (hand-crafted high performance sports cars). As it happens, very recently the fastest and most expensive car ever sold in Singapore is a model from that Swedish brand. Talking of cars, J Craft like to see their boat as a Rolls-Royce on the water – and that happens to be their car partner with which they do many events and joint marketing. “That’s also an achievement for a little Swedish company like ours, that such a strong brand globally has chosen us as partner.” By showcasing the Torpedo in Singapore for the second time J Craft are hoping to penetrate also the Asian market with its dramatically increasing market, and seemingly insatiable yearning for luxury. However, Johan was aware of an uphill challenge in that you don’t have the heritage here. “If I compare with the U.S we very much represent the heritage of old wooden boats etc. that have been around for generations and they see this as a very exclusive boat I would say, comparing it with a Bentley or something. Here they have a very different view on it than maybe where our hearts really are.” More than bringing back the happy 1960’s, Asia is about expensive beautiful things, limited editions and collector’s items. August 2013 • ScandAsia.Singapore 11


introduces Mid-Century Danish Furniture in Singap MatzForm has recently opened its new shop at 302 Jalan Besar in Singapore, offering high quality, classic Danish designed furniture. Soren Matz, the founder of MatzForm, talks to ScandAsia about his philosophy and plans. By Maria Rita Skog


oren Matz, founder of MatzForm was born and trained as a cabinetmaker in Denmark. The unique structured Danish furniture is a result of personal experience and skills, and former Danish Designers, behind the epoch of Mid-Century Danish Furniture. Soren Matz spent almost two decades in Japan studying Japanese design and aesthetics, and bringing it into harmony with the Danish Modern character, of his earlier training. After finding that balance, he moved to Shanghai to create his own line of furniture that is simple, elegant and impeccably built, and unusually for fine furniture - affordable. MatzForm makes life long furniture based on the five principles: Quality, Functionality Beauty, Authenticity and Sustainability.

A family history Soren dedicated his life to Danish quality and handcrafted furniture. Soren comes from a shipbuilding family where his great-grandfather founded his own shipyard in 1910, building wooden ships for the fishing, shipping and leisure yachting markets. This was woodworking where commitment to quality literally meant everything, and this is a philosophy Soren has maintained in his own lines of furniture. A few months ago, Soren found a great location for his shop at 302 Jalan Besar in Singapore. The people next door are the partners up in Shanghai that MatzForm do things as workshop together with. And the Singapore showroom opened its doors in July, offering fine collections 12 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2013

apore of Danish furniture. Besides being a cabinetmaker Soren has done exhibitions, three books and lectures, making him a scholar in Scandinavian furniture. He mainly specialises in Danish furniture and he has also talked about resembles between Chinese and Danish furniture. “The story we are telling is about the classic Danish things, everything is hand made in Denmark and we are taking the handmade crafts onto China and doing it the same way it used to be produced. Danish design is all about nice curves and nice features, and we believe that the more you use our furniture, it will become more valuable and nicer. We believe our furniture will increase in value and become prettier the more you use it, as it will age with charm,” says Soren.

‘Chique’ MatzForm offers Scandinavian Mid-Century modern furniture, many of them are chairs. These products are done from contracted work to special projects. The MatzForm designers have done famous projects for Qantas Airlines Sydney: The Business Lounge, and the First Class LoungeS AROUND ASIA. They have done the furniture for Georg Jensen and the Royal Café Copenhagen. They also do a lot of hospitality, fine dining restaurants, embassies, boutique hotels and nice cafes. One of their aims is to be very chique,” says Soren. “We believe that classic designs last forever and that they are here to stay. Many of our products are designed in 1956, back then launching in black and grey. Today, we do it in sustainable oak, and we use some very fresh and funky fabrics. We are taking it up to date from 1956 to today, and the furniture is still a very modern piece as seen in our chairs. This kind of modern and simplicity is what we are now re-launching here in Asia. In the old days it was teakwood from Thailand. Soren says MatzForm does not cut tropical trees, but instead gives them a bit of teak stain, so it resembles. If customers wish to have the real 50s-60s style they can supply the wood with a teak colour so they have the same feeling,” says Soren. Pricewise, some of the original prices of MatzForm designs reach very high prices at auctions – sometimes the ‘real thing’ sells up to 25,000 US dollars, but Soren insures that they can recommend a regional price out of here for 2,500 US dollars OR LESS.

Mid-Century Modern Furniture Mid-century went very popular in America in the 50s, and when Danish furniture went floating around America and became a boom, it was a

brand. Mid-Century Danish furniture is today in Northern Europe, America and in Asia. “If you say, I bought a mid-century Danish chair; people would know what that means. This is not the case here in Singapore, as the Chinese find this relatively new to them. People who have been to school may understand Art Deco furniture or maybe Baroque furniture. But this Mid-Century Danish furniture is like an epoch, like jugend, like art deco like barroq like any other - it is a complete epoch by itself. We are screening for the good products and we are finding available beautiful pieces, and we have the licence to produce. The furniture is refined and used in a contemporary house,” says Soren. The original designers have passed away, and MatzForm has about 15-20 designers on contract. MatzForm mostly works with the designers’ OFFSPRING as their IPR (the Intellectual Property Rights) belong to their families, 70 years after their death. In China or in Singapore IPR may be unknown, but in EU / Scandinavia it is a rule by law. “To make people more comfortable about what they are buying we are putting on our own plaque that gives the customers, our brand name handcrafted, the name of the designer and the furniture’s number. People are then really buying a registered piece of design. It is like buying a fancy watch, or an expensive car, and we too like these vendors, insure the client that we certify their purchased product so he or she, is sure that they are buying Danish Mid-Century furniture. MatzForm offers five standards of stained oak wood; Natural Oak, Teak, Walnut, Espresso and Tobacco. For an approx. 15 per cent price increase the furniture can be made in solid American walnut

- Bodega: a very suitable chair for wine bars, nice to sit for a light meal - Sushi: very comfortable and elegant and it carries the carpentry tradition - Mama Bear: great support to legs and back, the woollen surface gives ‘a homely feeling’

Fabric by Kvadrat, and Luxury & Italian Leather

Newly Wed Couples MatzForm mainly targets newly-wed and young people, as usually, the elderly seldom re-furnish once they are over 50. From time to time, couples from mainland China buy apartments here in Singapore at retirement age. “We are very happy you have Ikea here in Singapore because it helps training people’s ability to judge, understand and to look at designs. Before one jump from IKEA and to international import furniture, it gets really pricey. We are trying to fill out this gap. There is a market in between that is not very well covered here – a segment that allows people to buy very high quality and branded furniture, guaranteed with a plaque certificate at an affordable level. Our products are very easy to blend into in modern households. I think the shop here in Singapore will cater to people with that taste of education and little bit of money, who want to upgrade their houses step by step. There is a two-month lead time for people to come in and select whatever wood and fabricated furniture they wish. They mostly end up buying the piece which is typical in western procedure. People with the love of designs understand this type of orders,” says Soren. In September 2013, MatzForm will hold an official opening party at its shop in Singapore.

Kvadrat is a Danish textile Company, and MatzForm only offers their fabric upholstered products in textile from Kvadrat. There are about 500 colours to choose, from 11 types of fabrics. Some of the fabrics are very smooth and easy to work with, and then there are some which are more of wool and rough surface. MatzForm uses about six types of leather. The leather types range from a luxury PULL-Italian leather to more commercial leather for restaurants USAGE. The leather types are displayed in the Singapore showroom, for people, customers and clients to walk in, feel and touch before ordering their furniture products. ScandAsia’s Correspondent was offered to try out the Danish furniture and to highlight some of MatzForm bestselling chairs, these were; August 2013 • ScandAsia.Singapore 13

Helping hands for Monaco business woman Emma Hawker established www.theweddinglist. offering online wedding list service, gift purchase and shipment, and bridal gowns to Scandinavian and expatriate brides-to-be. By Maria Rita Skog


any globe-trotting couples found each other in Asia or moved here together. Once engaged, many prefer to get married in their homelands or a nearby destination where guests can conveniently travel to. One of the major things for couples to address is the gift wishes. Which country to send the gifts and how to ship large wedding gifts to Scandinavia? The bridal registry and the wedding list (known as Bryllup liste in Scandinavian) are part of the wedding tradition in Western countries. It plays an important part in the wedding planning process. Established by Mrs. Emma Hawker, www. is Singapore’s first and only personalised online Expat wedding registry service. The website is geared toward Scandinavian and other expatriate brides who seek to keep in touch with their Western wedding traditions. “My friends from Norway and Sweden use online wedding registry services from their homelands, where family and friends purchase wedding gifts from a wish list as for example ‘Hardanger Bestikk’ (Hardanger Silver Cutlery)” says Emma. Originally from Monaco, Emma is an expatriate in Singapore married to her partner Tom Hawker. It was after her experience of setting up her own Monaco wedding that Emma decided to help other brides to be. The wedding preparation is a massive project itself, and setting up a wedding registry service back home is often not an option due to time constraints and the expense of shipping items back to their current location. “Enter for the convenience of the bride and groom’s family and 14 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2013

expat brides-to-be friends wanting to purchase a treasured gift for the happy couple living in Asia, which will also be a keepsake to remember them and their wedding day by,” says Emma. On top of that, Emma provides a service to assist wedding arrangements in Singapore. “With the added benefit of having a personalised wedding website that includes the wedding invitation, details on location and transport (all designed around the wedding colours and theme), guests have instant access to all the information no matter where they are located or where are traveling for the nuptuals,” says Emma. Emma also tells us about the cases when you are invited to a wedding and do not know what to buy. Posting a wish list onto the wedding registry will make the gift purchase easier for the guests. However, you may wish to give away a gift that is useful and enjoyed for generations to come, as seen in Nina Ratshack case, says Emma. Nina is a Singapore-based expatriate from Norway. She bought her sister who got married in France the traditional Chinese Wedding Cabinet. She then shipped it to her homeland from Singapore, after the bride had decided which color she wanted. This massive piece of Asian furniture had

to be shipped through Nina’s own private contacts in the Singapore Shipping Community. After hearing about this case, Emma decided to offer a service for this kind of shipment as well. “My wedding registry service is the only one that could incorporate that, as us from Europe would know how to purchase, register and ship off,” she says. The first thing you do as a bride is finding The Dress, the Big Day’s Bridal Gown. This is a challenge in Singapore and Emma is happy to announce the launch of the wedding dress service. was officially launched in July, offering personalised wedding gown advisory service to help expat brides in Singapore find that ‘one’ perfect dress for their special day.

For further information, please contact Emma Hawker on +659685 9644 or e-mail:

SKAGEN DENMARK The White Label collection of timepieces from the Danish lifestyle brand SKAGEN DENMARK stands out for their unique design and functional qualities.


fter more than twenty four years in the accessories design world, the watch collections of SKAGEN DENMARK has in the opinion of many designers reached a level of contemporary culture of their own. The White Label watch collections displays Danish design at its best, with graceful styles, slim lines, subtle, inspiring colors, and a quality that will make the time piece last year after year.

DENMARK’s KLASSIK collection combines the enduring qualities of Danish design with the pure elegance of Denmark’s natural landscape. Offering a slim profile and expertly crafted bands, this collection proves that simple can be altogether striking.

AKTIV The Aktiv collection pays tribute to the pride the Danish people take in an active lifestyle. Favored for its sharp, minimalist look, these sport-inspired timepieces are certain to score high marks among the fashion conscious and adventure enthusiasts.

PERSPEKTIV The Perspektiv collection offers a combination of uncomplicated, minimalist design with a sophisticated style. From the renowned Designer Series to timepieces inspired by elements in nature, this collection presents itself with more daring colors, distinctive materials and new evolutions in Danish Design.

All three collections reflect the qualities of traditional Danish design: Light, Pure, Clean, Tailored and Enhanced by Color. SKAGEN DENMARK has since the beginning focused on producing authentic, high-quality Danish lifestyle products at prices that are accessible for design enthusiasts around the globe. The brand has a distinct design – a quality that design enthusiasts call the “design DNA” – rooted in simplicity, natural elements and modern design. The mix of natural and modern design makes them desirable function-driven objects for today, tomorrow and beyond. The watches are available in over 220 concession stores throughout China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, New Zealand, India, Vietnam, and the Philippine.

For further details, please visit the website PERSPEKTIV


The White Label watches are available in three main collections:

KLASSIK This is the timepiece to consider if you want to invest in a timeless style that will look as great many years from now as it does today. SKAGEN


August 2013 • ScandAsia.Singapore 15

Nordea opens private banking branch in Singapore T

o serve the growing community of Nordic individuals in Asia, Nordea has opened a private banking branch in Singapore. Nordic businesses are growing in Asia and are thereby attracting more Nordic professionals to live and work in the region. The Nordic expatriates in Asia are also staying longer than they used to. Singapore is the centre for private banking in Asia, and Nordea offers private banking services to the growing community of wealthy individuals from its newly opened branch in Singapore.

“Asia-Pacific is an engine of growth for the world”, says CEO Jhon Mortensen of Nordea Bank S.A. “To present the growing number of Nordic individuals in the region with the same high quality private banking service as we do in Europe, we have opened a branch in Singapore, thereby making their access to the financial markets easier, more efficient and more secure.” For five consecutive years, Nordea was named the best provider of private banking services in the Nordic & Baltic region by the international financial magazine Euromoney. Nordea

is the leading Nordic provider of international private banking services, and the Nordea Group is Northern Europe’s leading universal bank, with around 11 million customers, more than 1,000 branch offices and EUR 224 billion in assets under management. Nordea is one of the leading international banks in shipping, providing a diversified range of services for that sector. The company has a dedicated team in Singapore with strong market knowledge and structuring capabilities to assist clients in several Asian countries. The new branch will be headed by Eric Pedersen, who started as an analyst in the Bank’s Treasury department, and, since 2000, has worked in senior roles within Asset Management and Private Banking. “Besides our reputation for seeing things from the client’s point of view, Nordea’s financial strength and the retained AA-rating is clearly an added attraction for wealthy clients looking for a safe and reliable private banking partner,” he says. The Singapore team is composed of experienced, senior private bankers with financial market expertise who are supported by highly qualified operational staff. In the team of account managers are Jonas Bergqvist (Swedish), Haavard Farstad (Norwegian), and Kim Osborg Nielsen (Danish). For further information: Eric Pedersen General Manager, Nordea Bank S.A., Singapore Branch Phone +65 65 97 10 81

Jhon Mortensen 16 ScandAsia.Singapore • August 2013

Eric Pedersen

August 2013 • ScandAsia.Singapore 17


Danish meatballs

Frikadeller By Anders Holm Nielsen


Ingredients • 1/2 pound ground veal • 1/2 pound ground pork • 1/4 cup milk, or as needed • 1/2 cup finely grated onion • 1 egg • 1/4 cup bread crumbs, or as needed • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour • 1/4 cup seltzer water • Salt and pepper to taste • 1/4 cup margarine


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• Mix the veal and pork together in a bowl, and stir in the milk, onion, and egg. Mix the bread crumbs into the meat. Sprinkle in the flour, and knead well to mix. Stir in the seltzer water, season to taste with salt and pepper, and mix well. The mixture should be very moist, but not dripping. • Chill the meat mixture for 15 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator, to make the meatballs easier to form. • Heat the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. • Scoop with a large spoon, and form the mixture into a slightly flattened, oval meatball about the size of a small egg. Place the meatballs into the heated skillet, and fry for about 15 minutes per side, until the meatballs are well-browned and no longer pink in the center.

What if...

ExPloRE WhAt if

new students Imogen and Ryohei relax at ‘home’ on UWCSEA East

…yoUR ChIld fElT AT homE fRom dAy onE? Would feeling secure and supported make learning easier? That’s the finding by leading education specialists, and it’s certainly the experience of students at UWCSEA. Take Imogen and Ryohei, new students who had a friend from day one through the school’s Buddy Programme. Because their buddies accompanied them throughout the day and introduced them to other students, Ryohei and Imogen felt they belonged from the start. This feeling followed them from playground to classroom, giving them the confidence to do anything from making friends to learning new mathematics concepts.

This is just part of the school’s Personal and Social Education (PSE) programme, a key element of the learning experience. Through PSE, students explore their identity and place in the world. With the support of their teachers and each other, students are prepared to take their seat at school and beyond, with confidence. What if your child joins UWCSEA? Visit to find out more.

UWCSEA dover is registered by the CPE CPE Registration no. 197000825h Registration Period 18 July 2011–17 July 2017 UWCSEA East is registered by the CPE CPE Registration no. 200801795n Registration Period 10 march 2010–9 march 2017


When it’s time to do business, we’re exceptionally open.

Every business has a different story and a different goal. We understand that. Over many years in this market of unique opportunities, we’ve developed the local knowledge, resources and connections needed to turn ambitions into reality. That’s why we’re one of the most well-established northern European banks in the region. For corporates, financial institutions and private banking clients, we’re ready to listen and cater to your needs – in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Delhi. Welcome to contact us at Tel: +65 63 57 08 95

ScandAsia Singapore August 2013  

August 2013 edition of ScandAsia Singapore for Scandinavian residents from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in Singapore