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Singapore promote food companies to Europe, US

Posted on: March 31, 2009

Bernama – Monday, March 30

SINGAPORE, March 30 (Bernama) – The global recession may have stumped many export-oriented nations, but some like survivalist Singapore, refuse to let the economic turmoil pull it down.

Towards this end, the city-state has put on its thinking cap long enough to come out with one practical strategy of exploiting its untapped ‘forte’ in the local food business by exporting it worldwide.

“Food remains a necessity despite the crisis,” said Gina Lim, the Regional Director (Europe) of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, an agency under the republic’s Trade and Industry Ministry, which is spearheading the development of its external economic wing.

“Singapore’s multi-cultural smorgasbord leaves us in a unique advantage in the global food arena,” she said in statement today.

She said that the recent fall in property and rental prices in prime locations in Europe provided an even more conducive environment for Singapore’s F&B players looking to enter the market there for the first time.

IE said it was now paving the way for local food entrepreneurs to make inroads into Europe and North America by putting the country on the global food map under the “Tasty Singapore” branding initiative.

This week the IE is hosting over 20 well-known food and beverages (F&B) industry players from Europe on a week-long interactive programme packed with food tours, hands on cooking demonstrations and meetings with some of Singapore’s key food manufacturers, food service operators and restaurateurs.

Among the players from the United Kingdom, Russia, Sweden, Germany,Spain and the Netherlands, are Selfridges & Co. from London and Ginza Project and Vesta-Centre International from Moscow.

“This is the first time that IE Singapore is hosting such an extensive and targeted group of European F&B connoisseurs such as chefs, restaurateurs, buyers,” the agency said.

The delegates will be taken to popular local food haunts such as Lau Pa Sat, Katong and to cooking classes where they will learn about local favourites such as laksa, rojak, chilli crabs, char kuay teow and chicken rice.

They are also scheduled to meet with Singapore food companies such as Chye Choon, Prima, Eu Yan Sang, Chinatown Foods and Sin Hwa Dee, which are household names associated with popular food products and ingredients here.

Business meetings with local big industry names like Tung Lok, Jumbo Group, Breadtalk Group, Super Bean, Bengawan Solo, Paradise Group and Prima Group have also been arranged for them to explore the feasibility of exporting their food concepts over to Europe.

Some of these concepts have already taken off overseas, such as Food Republic in Hong Kong and Malaysia, Tung Lok in India, Seafood Republic in Japan and Prima Group in Sri Lanka, the United States and Europe.

IE Singapore’s deputy director (Lifestyle Services) Tan Soon Kim said the programme was aimed at generating business opportunities for the local food industry by placing Singaporean favourites on the European food map,encouraging demand for the local cuisine and corresponding F&B products.

He hoped the delegates would take back with them a piece of Singapore cuisine to Europe and in turn explore possibilities of featuring it on their menus.

IE also said a number of Singapore companies including Yeo’s, Chye Choon, Asian Home Gourmet and Prima, would be in Canada and America until mid-April to showcase their products to Sodexo, Compass Group and Aramark — global market leaders in food and facilities management services — via a cooking demonstration road show.

Singapore now has about 700 food manufacturing establishments engaged in various aspects of food production, with more than half catering mainly to overseas markets. — BERNAMA



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