Deutsche Messe sets up regional HQ in Singapore

(From left) Hannover Fairs Asia-Pacific managing director Katariina Rohrbach, Singapore Tourism Board director of exhibitions and conferences Andrew Phua, and SingEx Exhibitions executive director for events James Boey signing a memorandum of understanding for the continued organising of the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific trade show in Singapore. PHOTO: STB

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Trade show Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific will be held for another five years in Singapore, with German organiser Deutsche Messe also setting up its regional headquarters here.

On Friday (Feb 21), a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), German event organiser Deutsche Messe, and local partner SingEx to hold the trade show here from 2021 to 2025.

This renews the commitment under an initial MOU signed in 2017, to hold it from 2018 to 2020. Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific is the Asian edition of the world's largest manufacturing trade show, Hannover Messe.

As the trade show grows in prominence as Asia-Pacific's flagship manufacturing fair, "we are confident that it will become a powerful platform in accelerating the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies across the region", said Singapore Economic Development Board assistant managing director Lim Kok Kiang.

In a separate MOU signed with the STB, Deutsche Messe will open its South-east Asian headquarters, Hannover Fairs Asia-Pacific, in Singapore. The headquarters will provide greater support and expand their trade fairs in the region.

Under the partnership, the STB and Deutsche Messe will work together to develop and anchor new events in Singapore.

"We aim to have a solid long-term foothold in the booming South-east Asia region and market our existing portfolio here directly. Singapore's geographical location and strong MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) ecosystem make it an ideal destination from which to expand our presence in the region," said Ms Katariina Rohrbach, director of the new regional office.

As for new trade shows, Ms Rohrbach said that they "are working on new topics", with market research and feasibility studies required before launching a new trade fair.

STB chief executive Keith Tan said: "Our partnerships with Deutsche Messe and SingEx reflect confidence in Singapore's economy and the prospects of our MICE industry. We look forward to working with them to create and grow new best-in-class events in Singapore."

Said STB director of exhibitions and conferences Andrew Phua: "With advanced manufacturing being a potential driver for Singapore's future growth, "it is imperative that we continue to anchor an event to catalyse the adoption of advanced manufacturing in Singapore and the region by bringing in leading industry players as well regional buyers and sellers."

"Business events such as Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific also remain an important part of our tourism growth strategy," he added.

Noting the success of the first two editions of the show, with exhibitor numbers rising 32 per cent to 350 and attendee numbers up 53 per cent to 23,000 in 2019, Ms Rohrbach said: "Our goal is to have a long lasting, very successful Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific and trustful partnership with our partners STB and SingEx. That is our commitment and that is why we signed a MOU for five years."

This year's edition of Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific, from Oct 20 to 22, will be focused on small and medium enterprises, and workers, said SingEx Exhibitions executive director for events James Boey.

The event's Learning Labs will focus on the use of drones in logistics, and 3D printing demonstrations. There will be a new precision machining zone featuring smart machining, and an investment zone featuring industrial parks. SingEx is also working with Deutsche Messe to explore new initiatives such as a Future Hub segment for visionary concepts, added Mr Boey.

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