Singapore – an important market for Vietnam SMEs to reach out to the world

HCM City (VNA) – Promoting exports to Singapore, which has open trade mechanisms and high-quality services, is viewed as a shortcut for Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to send their products out to the world, according to industry insiders.

At a conference held by the Ho Chi Minh City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) on October 7, centre deputy director Tran Phu Lu said Singapore plays an important role in Southeast Asia’s economy thanks to its strategic location and high-quality human resources.

As the 37th-largest economy in the world, its per capita income stood at 59,590 USD in 2019, he said, adding that as its domestic consumption relies a great deal on imports, Vietnamese SMEs could penetrate into the market, especially in the context of formidable challenges posed by COVID-19.

Vice President of the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce Ltd (Vietcham) Singapore, Phan Phi Long, said that besides traditional distribution channels like FairPrice, 7Eleven, ShengSiong, Giant, Ang Mo Supermarket, and Market Place, Singapore also has a well-developed e-commerce space favoured by young people and high-income households.

Some 60 percent of its e-commerce revenue is from outbound orders. Along with Amazon, eBay, and Apple, other sites in the country such as Taobao, Qoo10, Lazada, Zalora, Carousell, Redmart, Reebonz, HipVan, and Alibaba have also posted impressive earnings.

In this context, Vietnamese companies could access these e-commerce platforms to sell products in Singapore and elsewhere at a lower cost compared to traditional distribution channels, Long said.

Meanwhile, Vietcham Singapore Vice President Phillip Phung highlighted the fact that over 99 percent of imports to Singapore enjoy tax exemptions (excluding cars, petrol and oil, alcohol and tobacco) and the country has excellent ports and logistics services.

Figures from the International Trade Centre show that Singaporean ports handle around 91,000 containers each day, with 5 percent of commodities consumed in-country and 95 percent shipped to other countries.

Phung said the Singaporean market could serve as an effective bridge introducing or expanding Vietnamese exports to larger markets.

Experts have recommended that Vietnamese SMEs pay due regard to improving product quality, ensure products are produced in line with international standards, and acquire product quality certificates such as HACCP or Halal, in order to successfully do business in the island state./.


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