YCH inks pact with Indonesian food distributor

Supply chain company YCH Group's subsidiary YCH Indonesia has signed an agreement with a business unit of Sekar Group, one of Indonesia's largest importers and distributors of food products.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Pangan Lestari was inked on the sidelines of a business mission co-organised by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and the Singapore Business Federation.

Announcing the pact in a statement yesterday, IE Singapore said it brought the two companies together last year, given Singapore- based YCH's interest to expand further in Indonesia.

Under the agreement, both companies will jointly develop integrated cold-chain supply management to facilitate retail, catering and distribution fulfilment.

The MOU signing was witnessed by Ms Sim Ann, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, and Finance.

Ms Sim, who also oversees issues related to small and medium-sized enterprises in the Committee on the Future Economy, is leading the business mission to Surabaya, Indonesia, which started on Wednesday and ends today.

The mission comprises over 20 business representatives from 13 SMEs across business services, environment services, as well as the financial and manufacturing sectors.

Ms Sim said in the statement: "Given the limited size of Singapore's domestic market, many SME leaders are actively considering internationalisation as a means to bring their business to the next level."

She added that Indonesia's young population and growing middle class present good opportunities for local SMEs.

Indonesia is Singapore's second- largest trading partner among Asean member states, with total trade at $59 billion last year. Singapore was Indonesia's top foreign investor last year, with total realised investments amounting to $8 billion, IE Singapore noted.

"Surabaya and East Java offer exciting growth opportunities, especially in sectors like trading, services and manufacturing," said IE Singapore assistant chief executive Tan Soon Kim.

Surabaya has a population of 3.2 million and its economic growth reached 6.7 per cent in 2014, exceeding East Java province's growth of 5.9 per cent.

Separately, IE Singapore also announced the signing of a "first-ever" MOU with business associations in Lombardy, Italy - Confindustria Lombardia and Assolombarda - to help SMEs access the region. The two groups have a combined reach of 17,000 Italian enterprises across diverse sectors, IE Singapore noted.

The collaboration is aimed at helping local companies tap business opportunities in Lombardy via partnerships, as well as linking up enterprises in Lombardy with Singapore firms to jointly access the South- east Asian market.

IE Singapore said the focus areas include design innovation, fashion and consumer products, technology development, urban solutions and hospitality real estate.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline 'YCH inks pact with Indonesian food distributor'. Print Edition | Subscribe