26 local F&B companies participated in an overseas Food Exhibition from 22nd – 24th March 2018 in Chengdu, China. The objective of the trip was to enable the delegates to attain first-hand information of the overall market and opportunities in China. The trip also allowed Singapore businesses to establish business and official contacts in China to develop potential international collaborations and new distribution channels for their products. More importantly, the trip provided a platform for Singapore-based halal products to be marketed in Chengdu and various provinces in China.
“The halal market in China is still in its early stages of growth; this gives room for Singapore food companies to expand into the country and build presence without worrying about competition from global brands that have yet to venture into the market. From the 26 participating companies, 12 of them specialised in Halal products so the Food Exhibition provided these companies the advantage of gaining insights into the halal F&B business landscape in China through industry experts and local entrepreneurs,” explain Ms Shura.
During the trip, participating companies took part in B2B matching sessions and were given the platform to showcase their products to potential buyers and investors such as WoWo, Shangri-La Hotel, G-Super, as well as Ito-Yokado, one of Japan’s largest supermarket chains. Participants also met representatives from Enterprise Singapore based in Chengdu, China’s office who shared key initiatives that Singapore F&B companies can tap to enhance their internationalisation efforts into China.
The delegation was led by Shura Ishak and Ahmad Mohamed, Senior Business Advisors of SME Centre @SMCCI as part of the Centre’s Group-based Upgrading (GBU) Project in partnership with Veritag Pte Ltd. Supported by Enterprise Singapore, the GBU is aimed at helping local F&B businesses export Halal products into foreign markets such as China. SME Centre @SMCCI will work closely with participating companies and develop their internal capabilities to prepare them for overseas expansion. The SME Centre@ SMCCI will also collaborate with Veritag to facilitate the process of bringing in Singapore-based halal products into China. The group-based upgrading approach was first announced at the SME Centre Conference 2017 last year and supported by Enterprise Singapore. SME Centres will drive and aggregate common challenges, and capability or growth needs, identify viable solutions for mass deployment and facilitate group-based solutions through collaboration with partners and vendors. This allows SME Centres to collectively support more SMEs with similar business needs by pooling resources and ideas, and overcoming them together.