Singapore

New brand mark to help promote local products in global market

To be introduced in November, it aims to provide assurances to overseas buyers of a product's quality

Local companies in sectors from food to fashion, beauty and home decor will soon find it easier to make an impact on international markets.

A Singapore brand mark to be introduced in November aims to provide assurances to overseas buyers of a product's quality, and in turn help it stand out from the competition and command premium pricing.

The roll-out will start with products related to food and beverage (F&B), beauty and wellness, fashion and accessories, as well as homeware and decor, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday.

Mr Chan told a virtual briefing that the focus on quality will be a key differentiation for Singapore food products from its competitors, with a growing consumer focus on food safety and quality assurance.

"We will further amplify this to make sure that consumer interests and the purchase of local brands will be enhanced, not just in the Singapore market, but also in the overseas market," he noted.

A road map for the brand mark and plans for various sectors will be released in "due course", he added.

"We see ourselves being able to value-add... at critical parts of the global value chain, and that will allow us (to) not only have an expanding market, but it will also strengthen our own domestic food resilience," noted Mr Chan, who was speaking after a visit to local food manufacturer KH Roberts.

There are around 940 enterprises in food manufacturing, contributing 1.1 per cent to annual GDP and employing over 48,000 workers.

Mr Chan noted that this segment had expanded consistently before the Covid-19 pandemic, recording a compounded annual growth rate of about 6.45 per cent between 2013 and 2018.

While the sector has seen its fair share of challenges amid the pandemic, including supply chain disruptions, its growth trajectory has not been disrupted, he said.

MIDDLE-CLASS MARKET

Mr Chan pointed to the expanding Asian middle-class market, and noted that quality products are a key concern for such consumers.

This will play to Singapore's strengths and create job opportunities, he said.

One is in the area of research and development such as the push here for agri-tech development, an initiative that is forging collaboration between institutes of higher learning and companies here.

He cited KH Roberts, which set up an industrial lab with the Singapore Institute of Technology last year that allows students access to equipment and the company's technicians and scientists.

One of the instruments students can access is an extruder, which transforms proteins into meat-like substances or plant-based products.

KH Roberts chief executive Peter Ong told the briefing: "We are fortunate to be able to host that equipment here for the students to have (practical) experience, and also for us to work on industry-type projects for potential customers."

BUSINESS & FINANCE