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S'pore, Taiwan firms exploring partnerships in growth markets

Singapore and Taiwanese firms are eyeing further areas of collaboration in exploring opportunities in growth markets.

SINGAPORE: Singapore and Taiwanese firms are eyeing further areas of collaboration in exploring opportunities in growth markets.

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) said the potential for such partnerships has yet to be fully realised.

It held a networking session on Tuesday for some 150 Singaporean and Taiwanese business delegates to explore possible joint ventures in emerging economies.

Taiwan is known for producing innovative electronic products used around the world.

Singapore, on the other hand, has an expertise in logistics and supply chain management.

A tie-up between the two could create strong synergies when tapping emerging economies.

The SBF said this is an example of how both economies can leverage their respective advantages to expand in growth markets.

Robert Yap, vice chairman at the Singapore Business Federation, said: "There's not very (many)... collaborations in the last couple of years because mainly, in terms of the big market... China has been there, so a lot of the Taiwanese companies actually go in directly there."

Companies in Singapore are also moving there directly, so "there are small collaborations here and there", he added.

However, more extensive collaborations can be explored, through networking sessions.

The SBF said the potential is even greater with the impending conclusion of a free trade pact between Singapore and Taiwan.

Taiwan was Singapore's sixth-largest trading partner and ninth largest export market in 2013. Singapore also imports many Taiwanese products, as well as scores of Singaporeans visit Taiwan as a tourist destination every year.

Business leaders say the strong business and people-to-people links translate to a firm foundation for developing partnerships when targeting growth markets such as India.

Aylwin Tan, chief customer solutions officer at Ascendas, said: "Singapore's strength is that we have been in India for a long time.

"And having the familiarity because of this... together with our understanding of the Indian culture, is a very important ingredient for Taiwanese companies, which are probably more familiar with operating in China, to now look at the market in India."

The SBF has also identified Malaysia's Iskandar region, Indonesia and Vietnam within Southeast Asia as markets for further collaboration. 

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