Singapore – Capturing opportunities in Asia-Pacific, positioning Singapore as a compelling marketplace, and building strong value propositions for global markets: These are the government’s key priorities in food, according to Lee Yee Fung, group director, Lifestyle Business Group, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.
Lee outlined these priorities at the recently held Food&HotelAsia (FHA2016) press briefing.
Lee says that in order to address these priorities, the government will facilitate market access through trade show supports (such as FHA2016), in-market promotions, and industry branding initiatives. At the same time, there will be a push to develop capabilities through innovation and productivity initiatives.
Indeed, Singapore has much to look forward to, with the latest market reports indicating a thriving F&B industry in the Asia-Pacific region as the world economy shifts from the West to the East. According to Euromonitor International, the region’s F&B industry is expected to achieve a turnover of US$3.23 trillion in 2016, and its expansion is forecast to outpace Western Europe and North America.
This prospect, adds Euromonitor, has attracted many foreign investors to expand into Asia, resulting in stiffer competition among local and regional F&B players. To compete, the Singapore F&B industry is looking towards creating long-term value and developing strategies that will set it apart from foreign competitors.
“Despite a fall in global trade in 2015, Asia’s total trade with the rest of the world in packaged foods attained third spot in [the same year], behind Europe and the Americas. Asia-Pacific is also projected to have the second-highest growth rate for packaged foods in the next five years,” says Lee. “So even with a modest economic outlook for 2016, there are pockets of opportunities in the region. It is thus imperative for Singapore companies to look beyond our market, innovate and transform their business models, in order to sustain future growth. With a strong ecosystem of food companies in place, the Singapore F&B industry is at a prime spot to ride this growth trajectory.”
This year’s Food&HotelAsia trade show, to be held from April 12-15 at the Singapore Expo, promises to highlight more of Singapore’s F&B offerings through a bigger Singapore Pavilion with more exhibitors compared to previous years.
In addition, FHA2016 expects to attract more than 65,000 trade attendees from over 90 countries and regions. In collaboration with IE Singapore, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation will be inviting more than 130 buyers from over 60 companies across 18 countries and regions to meet the Singapore exhibitors through scheduled business-matching sessions.
“We are pleased that more local exhibitors are taking up booth space this year. It is a testament to their confidence that the convergence of buyers and exhibitors from across the globe at FoodAsia [one of the six specialised events of FHA2016] forms a budding marketplace for the Singapore food sector to develop partnerships and broaden their network with the relevant buyers,” comments Ting Siew Mui, project director of Lifestyle Events at Singapore Exhibition Services, the organiser of Food&HotelAsia.