SPEECH BY MR S ISWARAN, MINISTER, PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE & SECOND MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS & SECOND MINISTER FOR TRADE & INDUSTRY, AT THE FOOD HOTEL ASIA 2012 OPENING CEREMONY , 17 APRIL 2012, 9:20 AM AT MAX ATRIA, SINGAPORE EXPO
Mr Stephen Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Exhibition Services,
Mr Albert Teo, 1st Vice President, Singapore Hotel Association,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning.
1 I am pleased to join you this morning for the opening ceremony of Food Hotel Asia (FHA) 2012. Let me also take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to our participants from overseas.
2 Food Hotel Asia has always been a focal point for trade buyers and sellers to meet and network. This year marks the18th instalment of FHA and it has attracted more than 2,700 exhibitors from over 65 countries, and more than 37,000 international trade visitors.
The Food and Hospitality Industry steps up to meet challenges
3 The global economy ended the year 2011 on a cautious note due to the uncertainties in the US and Europe. Despite this, I am heartened to note that the hospitality and food industry continues to forge ahead. Singapore welcomed 13.2 million tourists in 2011, setting a new record in tourism arrivals. Our tourism receipts have almost doubled from S$12.6 billion in 2009 to S$22.2 billion in 2011.
4 he food manufacturing sector saw its output grow by 8.2 per cent from 2009, to over S$7.3 billion. In the same year, the food services sector’s total
5 Our food industry has also performed well on the global front. In 2011, Singapore’s total food trade with the world increased by 16 per cent to reach almost S$25 billion. There is room to do more. Some reports show that the global food market value is expected to reach as much as US$4.3 trillion by 2015. The growing middle class in markets like China, Indonesia and the Middle East, and their rising incomes and consumer spending, present tremendous opportunities. In particular, demand for Halal and functional food products are on the rise and these are areas that companies in the industry can leverage on.
Singapore Government Supports the Growth of Local Companies
6 However, even with these opportunities on the horizon, it is not business as usual for our companies. Faced with the rising competition and manpower constraints, companies have to constantly innovate in order to stay nimble, relevant and competitive. Internally, they must re-assess their existing business models, develop new competencies and re-engineer processes to achieve sustainable growth. Externally, companies must also continue to seek to grow their presence in the promising emerging markets in order to remain globally competitive.
7 In this regard, the Singapore government continues to support the growth of our companies in several ways.
8 For example, the Government has committed some S$120 million for the Food Services and Food Manufacturing Productivity plans which were rolled out in 2011. The intention is to help our food enterprises innovate, enhance their capabilities, increase their productivity and boost their competitiveness. To generate higher value add, we are encouraging our local businesses to leverage on technology, adopt automation, re-design workflows, and enhance Human Resource (HR) capabilities.
Launch of e-Procurement Portal for Food Industry
9 In this respect, I am pleased that the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) will be embarking on an initiative to improve the procurement process in the food industry. With support from SPRING Singapore and Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association, RAS is developing an e-procurement portal that aims to provide an integrated solution to improve supply chain competitiveness and achieve savings for both buyers and sellers. Three companies – Palm BeachSeafood Restaurant, Jumbo Group of Restaurants and Select Group – will pilot this initiative. The e-procurement portal will be launched by the end of this year, and I encourage all restaurateurs and suppliers to tap on its resources.
10 On the tourism front, we have injected S$905 million into the Tourism Development Fund to spur yield-driven growth over the next five years. One-third of the fund will go towards helping local workers upskill and raise their productivity. The funding will also support technology development and adoption as a means of improving efficiency and service delivery.
11 In addition to direct productivity enhancements, companies can also tap on the Productivity and Innovation Credit scheme (PIC). The PIC scheme has been enhanced further in Budget 2012 to provide greater cash payouts as well as to allow companies to claim cash payouts on a quarterly basis instead of at the end of the financial year. First introduced in 2010, the PIC allows for a 400 per cent tax rebate for any investment along the innovation value chain like automation, training, R&D, design registration and acquisition of IP.
Bringing businesses overseas
12 On internationalisation, IE Singapore will increase support from 50 per cent to 70 per cent of qualifying costs for capability development projects in design, intellectual property, branding, as well as mergers and acquisitions. This will help companies, including SMEs, expand their presence overseas and sustain their growth. IE will also look at more comprehensive assistance for manpower strategy and talent development for internationalisation.
13 To raise global awareness of Singapore’s food companies, IE Singapore and SPRING will promote the industry under the Tasty Singapore brand. This branding accentuates the novelty, diversity, dynamism, quality and safety of Singapore’s food products and services. It helps define an international reputation for our companies and differentiates them from competitors.
14 With these resources, the food and hotel industry in Singapore is poised to seize new growth opportunities in global markets by strengthening and sharpening their value proposition.
FHA 2012 - a platform for companies to network and launch new products
15 Events such as FHA continue to serve as an excellent platform to learn the latest developments in the industry. Over the next few days, IE Singapore will bring in potential overseas partners from China, Hong Kong, the Middle East and Southeast Asia and link them with Singapore companies at FHA. I urge you to take the opportunity to network and explore new opportunities.
16 With industry and the government working closely together, I am confident that we will continue to grow and make Singapore an exciting food and tourism destination.
17 I wish all of you a fruitful and productive time at FHA 2012. Apart from attending this forum, I encourage our guests from overseas to also enjoy the leisure offerings that Singapore has to offer. Thank you.
 Singapore Tourism Board, 2011
STB Tourism Conference 2012 Speech
 Source: IE Singapore, Stat Link Portal
 Source: IHS Global Insight 2011
|Name||Ms Guenevere Cordeiro|
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