World Gold Council Singapore – 2022 In ReviewBy Andrew Naylor, Regional CEO, APAC (ex China) and Public Policy, World Gold Council
2022 was a major year for many reasons, not least the lifting of most pandemic restrictions and the resumption of international travel.
For the World Gold Council, it was also a year in which we launched a number of new initiatives in Singapore:
- Retail Gold Investment Principles (RGIPs)
- ASEAN Market Engagement
- Professional Development Curriculum
- Institutional Investor Outreach
- Gold247TM – The World Gold Council’s Vision for the Gold Market
Following the global launch of the RGIPs, and their ongoing roll-out in India, Germany, the USA, and others, we are now working with the Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA) on a local code of conduct for the retail gold industry, based on the international RGIPs. After a process of industry engagement, a retail market committee has been formed under the auspices of the SBMA. This Committee met for the first time in September, and is developing a local code of conduct.
The World Gold Council remains fully supportive, and we are confident that the RGIPs, and accompanying investor guidance, will help grow our industry. Research suggests that trust is a major barrier to buying gold and the RGIPs are designed to help give consumers confidence in the gold that they buy, and who they buy it from.
As travel has resumed, we have been able to increase our engagement with regional gold markets. In Thailand, we launched consumer research looking at perceptions of gold, motivations for buying, product preferences, and the role of gold in Thai households and society. Part of our global consumer insights programme, the research helps us and the gold industry better understand consumer behaviour, assisting the development of gold products and services that meet 21st century consumer needs.
In Indonesia, we have been working with the authorities and stakeholders on the development of the country’s bullion market. Connectivity between Singapore and Indonesia is vital, and SBMA members will be participating in a business and trade delegation at the end of November.
Finally, in Vietnam we partnered with the Vietnam Gold Traders Association and SBMA on the Hanoi Gold Forum, which took place on November 15. This was the first time in many years that industry participants, policymakers, and representatives of the State Bank of Vietnam have met to discuss the development of Vietnam’s gold market, and we look forward to continued engagement next year.
A major focus of all the discussions has been the role that gold plays in household finances. A new report by the World Gold Council developed in conjunction with The Economist, explores the role that gold plays in financial inclusion. Financial inclusion – access to formal financial services – is a key enabler of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and is a major objective of policymakers across the region. The report examines the role that gold currently plays (as a form of savings, source of credit, and as a method of payment) and advocates for greater retail banking participation in the gold market. The report was launched this year and is underpinning some of our engagement in the region, including at this year’s ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting.
This year, we commenced the development of a CPD programme for gold. Designed for a broad range of employees in the gold industry, the curriculum covers the role of supply chain participants, the investment case for gold, gold and ESG, gold trading, and the various standards and principles that underpin the market. In partnership with the SBMA, the programme will be launched for the first time in January at Enterprise Singapore. Following this, we will be rolling out the curriculum globally, and conducting the programme annually in Singapore.
The World Gold Council has continued its outreach to institutional investors here in Singapore and internationally including in Australia and Japan. On average, investment accounts for almost 40% of annual demand for gold and to help institutional investors navigate gold as an asset class. We have a number of tools on goldhub.com including a portfolio optimiser, gold return attribution model, and valuation framework. We have also released new research looking at the strategic case for gold in Singapore, Australia, and Japan, and analysis on gold’s role in Australia’s superfund landscape.
Topping this off is our annual institutional investor-focused conference in Singapore. Complementing this has been our corporate communications and marketing efforts in the region, and hopefully you will have seen articles, op-eds, and marketing making the continued case for gold.
Underpinning our work internationally is the Gold247TM initiative – the World Gold Council’s vision for transforming the global gold market to meet the challenges of today’s consumers and investors. The way gold is currently traded and the way the supply chain is managed needs to evolve to ensure the gold market continues to meet the expectations of In order for gold to continue to remain relevant, it must meet three challenges, and digitalisation is key to achieving these aims:
- First, the gold industry should operate with the highest integrity and proven provenance. Today’s consumers and investors demand to know where their gold comes from, who produced it, and whether it has been responsibly and sustainably sourced. Gold needs to have unimpeachable credentials, as maintaining the trust and confidence of consumers, investors and regulators is key to broadening participation and the unlocking of latent demand.
- Second, physical gold has to be fully accessible, so that everyone can benefit from its wealth enhancing, risk mitigating and stabilising role as a financial asset. This includes gold being traded 24 hours a day and being fully accessible through contemporary channels such as digital investment accounts or simply one’s smart phone.
- Third, we want to ensure gold is fully fungible, which means we should be working to harmonise regional silos, reduce market fragmentation and ensure that local and regional gold markets are fully interoperable.
These are just some of our key initiatives and activities, many of which include valuable partnership with the SBMA. All of our research can be found on www.goldhub.com and I urge you to take a look.
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