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Local consumer electronics firms look to the West to secure foothold in global market

While Asia-Pacific is driving global demand in the industry, Europe and the United States are influential in determining consumption patterns.

SINGAPORE: Even as home-grown consumer electronics firms look to the West to get a firm foothold on the global playing field, Europe and the United States - seen as trend-setters influencing global consumer electronics demand - still need to keep an eye on Asia, as the region remains the centre of growth.

Ten local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be heading to Germany for the second IFA Berlin, an international consumer electronics trade show to be held from Sept 5 to 8. They will be going together as a contingent, jointly organised by IE Singapore and the Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SGC).

While Asia-Pacific is driving global demand in the industry, Europe and the US are influential in determining consumption patterns, and according to IE Singapore, building brand awareness in the West is critical.

Mr Jason Lim, group director of the Technology Business Group at IE Singapore, said: "The consumer electronics market is also driven by Europe and the US from a trend setting point of view for any players that want to compete, creating a brand awareness in the global stage. Europe and the US are important in that regard. They need to make their mark in Europe and the US, and get the consumption patterns adopted before they can be escalated or propagated through the rest of the world, which will follow the US and Europe."

Nanoveu is among the Singapore contingent headed for Berlin. It has developed a screen, the EyeFly3D, which allows consumers to view three-dimensional (3D) content without the need for special glasses. Having attended the same event last year, the firm is hoping to build on the momentum generated previously.

"Last year when we were there, it was probably our first year of operations, so we were testing the waters. We did get a lot of people who were very interested, but we did not have our product fully commercialised and ready. This year, we are going in full force, with the product ready to be sold and to be stocked on shelves, and looking for retailers to adopt us, especially for the Christmas season," said Mr Alfred Chong, CEO of Nanoveu.

While the West sets the trends, Asia is the centre of growth for consumer electronics. Analysts forecast sales in the region to grow by 20 per cent over the next three years, to hit S$356 million in 2017. This will account for about 40 per cent of the global market. 

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