SBF targets over 100 S'pore firms for China import expo

Singapore Business Federation chairman Teo Siong Seng said Singapore companies at the China International Import Expo can take part in a networking and business-matching session that can lead to fast and tangible results.
Singapore Business Federation chairman Teo Siong Seng said Singapore companies at the China International Import Expo can take part in a networking and business-matching session that can lead to fast and tangible results.

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) aims to get more than 100 local firms to take part in the inaugural China International Import Expo later this year.

Chairman Teo Siong Seng told a briefing yesterday that the SBF will lead the delegation, which will represent a broad range of businesses, including start-ups and established companies.

Companies from a diverse range of sectors are encouraged to take part, ranging from high-end manufacturing and technology to medical and education services.

More than 100 countries will be represented at the expo, as well as 150,000 Chinese and foreign buyers.

Some of the major international companies that have confirmed their participation include Microsoft, Dell, Volvo, BMW and L'Oreal.

The expo, which will be held in Shanghai from Nov 5 to Nov 10, is being organised by China's Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai Municipal Government.

It aims to provide a platform for Singapore companies to venture into the Chinese market, gain first-hand information about global trade demand and enhance the international reputation of Singapore products.

Mr Teo said: "Singapore companies can look forward to a fruitful networking and business-matching session that can lead to fast and tangible results."

The SBF will set up a national pavilion within the exhibition hall to showcase firms from different sectors.

There will be multiple channels connecting companies, including targeted matchmaking fairs and a one-stop platform offering online and offline transaction services.

The multi-billion-dollar initiative was set up by the Chinese government to promote connectivity and cooperation among Asia, Europe and Africa.

Singapore is China's largest trade partner in services among the countries that lie along the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative, said Madam Zhong Manying, minister-counsellor at the Chinese Embassy here.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann pointed out at the briefing that Singapore companies have strong branding and high-quality products, so they will be able to cater to a consumer population that increasingly seeks differentiated products and services.

The expo is an example of an attractive internationalisation opportunity, she added.

"Internationalisation is a very important approach that we wish to encourage Singapore companies to consider as part of their transformation journey."

Mr Teo said the SBF is still finalising cost subsidies with the Ministry of Trade and Industry regarding financial support for companies to attend the expo.

Ms Sim added that firms can also look to existing schemes from International Enterprise Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2018, with the headline 'SBF targets over 100 S'pore firms for China import expo'. Print Edition | Subscribe