Mr Rafik Mansour, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy of Singapore,
Mr Tom Vilsack, President and CEO, U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC)
Ladies and gentlemen,
1 Good morning. It is my pleasure to join you at today’s event.
a. Congratulations to the U.S. Dairy Export Council on the launch of the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence in Singapore.
b. We are greatly heartened that Singapore is the location of choice for this new and exciting development.
c. This novel initiative – despite the present uncertain global economic outlook – is testament to the strong and enduring partnership between Singapore and U.S. companies.
2 We warmly welcome the establishment of the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence here.
a. Asia holds some of the biggest opportunities in agri-food technology. An estimated USD$800 billion of cumulative investment above existing levels will be required over the next decade to meet the region’s future agricultural needs.
b. The U.S. Dairy Export Council’s decision to locate the Center here in Singapore ensures that the U.S. dairy industry continues to be well-positioned to tap on these commercial and growth opportunities in the region.
c. The Center will boost ongoing innovation efforts in sustainable nutrition in Singapore and the region. It will provide latest R&D insights into the application of dairy products and ingredients.
d. In addition, the Center’s dual role as an education and training centre will allow USDEC to train regional distributors, as well as market U.S. dairy products to Asian consumers.
3 The Center for Dairy Excellence will be a valuable addition to Singapore’s vibrant and diverse food ecosystem, which comprises close to 1,000 establishments supported by a strong R&D network.
a. Our thriving and inter-connected agri-food technology ecosystem includes Centres of Innovation such as the Food Innovation & Resource Centre, as well as MNCs, SMEs and startups offering disruptive and innovative agri-food solutions.
b. Having the Center for Dairy Excellence here will enable us to tap on and learn from each other’s areas of expertise and strength in this sector.
c. It also demonstrates USDEC’s confidence in Singapore’s value and strength as a trusted and well-connected R&D hub, and a bridge between U.S. dairy suppliers and customers in Southeast Asia.
4 Singapore’s strong R&D and innovation ecosystem make us a natural partner for U.S. companies and research institutions to develop and test-bed innovative solutions, which can be scaled up and exported internationally.
5 This Center is an example of how the U.S. and Singapore can work together to seize opportunities amidst the uncertain economic outlook.
a. Going forward, it could explore partnerships with local research institutes and companies to co-create innovative dairy products to serve the domestic, regional and international markets.
6 We look forward to deepening Singapore’s partnership with the U.S. and its companies on the innovation front.
a. We will help connect U.S. startups, venture capitalists, incubators and accelerators with Singapore companies to spur innovation, forge partnerships, and expand into regional and international markets.
b. Our continued Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) with the U.S creates two-way exchanges between America and Singapore. There is strong interest from Singapore students and companies alike to explore the myriad of entrepreneurship and business opportunities in Silicon Valley. We also have a steady stream of U.S. startups establishing themselves in Singapore to access growth opportunities in Asia.
7 Asia, especially ASEAN, remains one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and will continue to be an engine of growth for the global economy.
8 Many U.S. companies have significant interests in the growing ASEAN market and have already established a longstanding presence in the region.
a. Their business operations here also make a sizeable contribution to the U.S. economy.
9 Singapore aims to continue being a critical node for American businesses and organisations seeking to tap on growth opportunities in the region.
a. We are the U.S.’ largest trading partner in ASEAN for both goods and services.
b. Today, our city state is host to a vibrant pool of U.S. businesses and organisations which benefit from our conducive business environment, fair and efficient legal system, and strong intellectual property rights regime.
c. These businesses and organisations have also contributed significantly to Singapore’s industry development and growth and created good jobs for Singaporeans.
10 We continue to welcome U.S. investments to make Singapore the base to grow your regional operations. We are committed to working with the U.S. government and business stakeholders to advance our economic cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
a. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down globalisation, Singapore and the U.S. remain like-minded partners in supporting open markets, having a strong rule of law, upholding high standards of protection for intellectual property, and maintaining transparency.
b. We will continue to advocate these principles amidst the unpredictable global environment so as to offer stability and peace of mind for businesses.
11 As a regional and global business hub, Singapore is committed to remaining open and connected to the world, be it in trade, investment, talent or ideas.
a. Access to a skilled workforce is one of the reasons companies continue to invest in Singapore. Our local workforce, together with global talents who contribute their skills, know-how and networks, help us to be globally competitive.
b. Furthermore, the diversity of our workforce promotes cross-pollination of ideas to spur innovation, and enables businesses to be more resilient to changes in the external environment.
12 We look forward to continued cooperation with the U.S. government and companies for many years to come.
13 Congratulations once again and we wish USDEC and the Center for Dairy Excellence great success on all your endeavours!
14 Thank you.