Thursday, July 12, 2012

S'pore remains key market for Britain

SINGAPORE: Despite a global slowdown, exports from the United Kingdom to Singapore rose 11 per cent on-year to S$7.13 billion in 2011.

With prospects in the Eurozone becoming bleaker, Singapore remains a key market for Britain not just as a trading partner but as a jump-off point for the smaller companies it wants to bring to Asia.

Consumer electronics firm Dyson is among the more than 700 British firms with operations in Singapore where it operates its research and development unit for its digital motors, bladeless fans and hand dryers.

Dyson's products are sold in over 50 countries and it invests S$2 million a week to develop new technology.

The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) believes such strength in high technology will open doors for British firms in Asia.

It sees potential in markets like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand where firms can bring their expertise in transport systems, architecture and design.

Nick Baird, chief executive of UKTI, said: "The key message to companies is that they need to diversify where the international activity is. Although Britain has been very successful among developed countries... we take only 1.2 per cent of the imports of the major emerging economies of the world. We have to address that. We have to take more British companies exporting to and investing in the growth regions of the world."

A spike in British investments in the region could boost business for UK firm Faithful+Gould.

The construction consultancy firm set up in Singapore in 1988 to help clients venturing into the Far East.

Faithful+Gould's regional director Martin Riddett, said: "Asia is an important market for a lot of clients nowadays and growing so, especially with the economic situations in Europe and the United States not being so good. So as the clients are looking to invest in Asia more and more, we support them in helping them make good value of their projects."

The UKTI said it plans to work closely with Singapore via joint trade missions to tap new markets in China and Myanmar.

Singapore is the UK's largest trading partner in Southeast Asia. The two country's similarity as an open, transparent and highly-regulated economy makes it easier for UK firms to start business in Singapore, the UKTI said.

On the other hand, Singaporean firms have also made headway with their investments in the UK, particularly in the areas of integrated utilities and services, renewal energy, banking and financials and food & beverages.

Mr Baird believes the spate of financial scandals, like the LIBOR fixing, should not have an impact on the attractiveness of Britain as an investment destination, adding that London remains a key financial centre that is interconnected with Asia and the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...