Singapore manufacturers ink agreement with Japanese business association

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Thursday with the Japan Management Association (JMA) to strengthen business relations between companies from the two countries.

JMA represents more than 1,300 companies in Japan.

With the MOU, companies can look forward to more business events, fairs and conferences that will be held in both Singapore and Japan, to help firms in both countries internationalise.

Already in the works is the first Japan-Singapore Business Opportunities conference, which will kick off in Singapore next February. The four-day event will bring about 30 companies from Japan's process industry to Singapore, where they can link up with one of the 3,000 firms here represented by the SMF through workshops and site visits.

JMA president Masami Nakamura said at the MOU signing ceremony, which took place at the Manufacturing Solutions Expo held at the Suntec Convention Centre, that many Japanese companies looking to enter the Southeast Asian market choose to make Singapore their base, because they see Singapore as "the hub of Asia".

Mr Douglas Foo, president-designate of the SMF, added: "Many local manufacturers are expanding their businesses overseas. It is my wish that by working together, SMF and JMA will be able to learn from each other, and provide assistance to our members in the various areas of trade, investment and business events."

Added Mr Nakamura: "It's hard for many small companies in Singapore and Japan to scale up, and that's where the need is. Through the business conference, match-making can be done to help companies in both countries grow."

Mr Foo agreed: "We will start with a conference, and then we can have cross-pollination."