Ladies and gentlemen,
1 Thank you for inviting me to the Opening Ceremony of the Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) Food & Beverage (F&B) 2022.
2 Very warm welcome to our international guests.
Singapore as the choice location for the leading food and beverage trade show of the region
3 Great to see FHA return this year after 3-year hiatus due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions. Asians like to eat and travel.
4 This is a sign our Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions industry is recovering strongly.
5 To accommodate growing industry interest, FHA is taking place as 2 dedicated trade shows.
a. FHA-F&B and FHA-Hotel, Restaurant & Café or HoReCa -- in the next month.
b. A welcome development which creates room to showcase different offerings.
c. With this change, we look forward to welcoming ~60,000 attendees from over 50 countries worldwide.
6 I am happy to share that Singapore food manufacturers are out in full force.
a. Over 130 F&B companies exhibiting at the Singapore Pavilion, ProWine Singapore, Halal and Food Tech zones.
b. Strong participation rate from local and global exhibitors demonstrates that Singapore continues to be a vibrant hub of exchange and business for the F&B industry in the region through such platforms.
Food businesses, including Singapore food manufacturers, have had to adapt to global developments impacting food supply chains, as well as evolving consumer preferences
7 Last 2 years, the F&B sector has battled several waves of disruptions. It’s good to see F&B sector come together to build new capabilities, using new tech and exchanging ideas and best practices to address these challenges.
8 Allow me to elaborate:
a. From 2018 to 2021, ~400 innovative products were launched in Singapore.
b. Some targeted at reducing food waste and lowering carbon footprint.
c. Others cater to demand for sustainable, functional, and plant-based products.
d. For example, SinFooTech launched Sachi, the first alcoholic beverage made from fermented soy whey, in November 2021.
e. Traditional food manufacturers such as Tee Yih Jia have also made the shift. They launched their ALTN range of alternative protein-based ready-to-eat dim sum and meals.
9 Many Singapore food manufacturers that primarily supplied hotels, restaurants and cafes have also pivoted to B2C channels, including e-commerce, to reach a wider and more diverse customer group.
10 Through these efforts, despite COVID-19, Singapore’s food manufacturing output last year reached ~US$10 billion, achieving a positive 2% year-on-year CAGR from about US$9 billion in 2016.
11 Despite some headwinds, we can all be quite optimistic of the strong growth opportunities that our food manufacturers are well positioned to capture.
a. Why? Because of rising demand for quality and premium products, particularly in South-East Asia.
b. Google’s SEA e-Conomy Report 2021 found that 60% of users increased their use of e-commerce to buy groceries.
c. Tremendous potential for companies to tap growing online and offline demand for food in SEA.
d. Today, Singapore already exports >60% of our food output. Moving forward, we want to build on that momentum to become a leading agri-food hub in Asia.
12 So allow me share how our Singapore Government will partner our food manufacturers to ride this next wave of growth. We will Go Abroad, Go Broad and Go Deep.
a. First, we will continue to broaden the geographical coverage of our trade agreements and deepen existing partnerships through new initiatives such as digital and green economy agreements.
b. Second, we will continue to broaden and deepen our drive towards tech and innovation with our partners across the value chain, from pre- to post- harvest.
These include many of you here:
- trading conglomerates
- large corporates
c. Third, we will continue to make friends abroad. Building our overseas networks of people and partnerships.
Earlier this year, our Enterprise Singapore signed an MOU with the Global Foodture Programme, an EU supported internationalisation programme that can help Singapore and European agri-food companies better work and do business with one another.
We can unlock the full potential of our F&B industry, if we do what we do today:
- Make friends
- Share capital and resources
- Share best practices and experiences
13 Big thank you to all our friends in the F&B industry for coming, and actively participating in this year’s trade shows.
14 I wish all of you a fruitful and engaging time at the exhibition.