The Asian financial centre is seeking to establish relationships with UAE banks to boost its plans to be a hub for trade finance.

It is also looking to UAE banks to help it develop Islamic finance. Singapore’s northern neighbour Malaysia has long been one of the leading markets in the world for Islamic finance. However, Gulf banks have been increasingly active in the area, including Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates Islamic Bank.

“We don’t have the expertise in Islamic banking yet, but it is here in Dubai,” says Dileep Nair, the Dubai-based Consul General for the Republic of Singapore,.
Emirates Bank International, part of Emirates NBD, and First Gulf Bank are the only UAE banks to have a presence in Singapore. Singapore’s DBS Bank has an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre.