Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) (a) whether any study has been done about Singaporeans’ perception and awareness of local brands and products; and (b) how does the Ministry plan to instil greater pride for and awareness of local brands.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Ms Sim Ann)
- The development of strong design and innovation capabilities which enable the growth of distinctive local brands are key components of the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) in the lifestyle cluster.
- While there have been surveys, like the Singapore Management University’s Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore and various surveys by private sector organisations, on consumers’ perception and satisfaction with various brands, these are not specific to Singaporean’s perception and awareness of local brands and products. We will consider doing such surveys as part of the work in implementing the ITMs.
- The Government has been working with our key partners such as the Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) to raise awareness of local brands among Singaporeans. For instance, SPRING Singapore (SPRING) supported the recent collaboration between the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA) and Focus Network Agencies (FNA) to help local food manufacturing companies feature their products through the Singapore Food Gifts Initiative at Changi Airport and amplify brand awareness. Participating companies were able to tap on SPRING’s suite of assistance schemes, such as the Capability Development Grant, to support the packaging innovation, design and small batch production needed to commercialise these food gifts.
- This year, SPRING will also be collaborating with NTUC FairPrice and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)’s School of Business Management to launch a Retail Incubator Programme. With NYP’s School of Business Management’s expertise in e-commerce and retail and FairPrice’s supermarket channels and capital support, participating companies can develop key skills in retail management, and have exclusive access to bring their products to market. To date, more than 20 companies have expressed interest to list more than 40 items under this initiative. We look forward to more companies coming on board.
- The DesignSingapore Council (DSG) also supported the Textile and Fashion Federation (Singapore) (Taff)’s collaboration with Boutique Fairs to organise Boutiques Edit, a shopping fair featuring local designers. The November 2017 Boutiques Edit showed a 50% increase in number of attendees from the March 2017 edition, and quadrupled its sales, a signal that there is a growing appetite for designed-in-Singapore fashion and design. To nurture home-grown brands and profile design talent, JTC, SPRING and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), will launch the Design Orchard initiative, with more than 60 brands on board, along Orchard Road by the end of this year.
- The Government will continue to work with industry partners to support our local brands and products, as part of the implementation of the ITMs.