More than 80 Singapore companies to take part in trade fair in Shanghai next month

Singapore Business Federation chairman Teo Siong Seng speaking at a press briefing in Shanghai on Oct 16, 2018, on Singapore companies' participation at the inaugural China International Import Expo. PHOTO: SINGAPORE BUSINESS FEDERATION

SHANGHAI - More than 80 Singapore companies will be taking part next month in an international trade fair in China, one focused solely on imports to the world's largest market.

Singapore Airlines, KinderWorld International Group and Tai Hua Food are among the Singapore businesses participating in the China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) will lead nearly 350 senior business representatives to the trade fair, to showcase goods and services from Singapore.

The Shanghai event comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in May last year that China will hold an import expo for the first time, to underscore its commitment to further open its market and promote international trade.

As the Chinese economy moves from decades of rapid growth to development that focuses on quality rather than speed, the Chinese government says it welcomes the import of more high quality goods and services for its increasingly affluent population.

More than 2,800 companies from over 130 countries are taking part in the Shanghai fair, to be held from Nov 5 to Nov 10.

The Singapore exhibitors have taken up a total of 1,425 sq m of space at the trade fair, which organisers say is the largest of any Asean country, said SBF chairman Teo Siong Seng at a press briefing in Shanghai on Tuesday (Oct 16).

"Through this high-level platform, Singapore companies hope to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the Chinese consumer market in various sectors to open up more business opportunities," he said in Mandarin.

The Singapore booths will feature goods and services in sectors such as logistics and transportation, finance and banking, education, healthcare and food and beverage.

Mr Teo said this year marks an important milestone in Singapore and China ties as it has been 40 years since Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore in November 1978.

"The mutual exchange of visits had since laid the foundation for close cooperation between both countries," he said.

Singapore is well-positioned to help Chinese companies venture into Asean markets and beyond, given its strong regional connection, technological expertise, multicultural talents and sophisticated legal framework, he observed.

Dr Loo Choon Yong, executive chairman of Raffles Medical Group, a participating exhibitor, said in a press statement that the healthcare group is well-poised to take advantage of the Chinese market.

"As China deepens its healthcare reform and the Chinese population seeks more personalised and comprehensive care, this puts Raffles Medical Group in a good position to offer quality medical care of international standards to the Chinese population," said Dr Loo.

During the trade fair, the SBF will hold a trade and investment forum as well as a business matching session co-organised by the Bank of China.

"China and Singapore's finance and banking sector have enjoyed a fruitful and mutually beneficial partnership for many years," said Mr Deng Lei, assistant general manager of Bank of China Singapore Branch.

He said the matching session, which is customised for Singapore companies, is in line with the bank's commitment to fostering business collaborations in China and around the world.

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