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COVER sTORY – TRADE FOCUs sPECIAL




  Going Glob
  Pays Off
  Mint Kang traces the roots of singapore’s
  push towards global trade and its evolution
  over the past three decades.



  T            he 1970s were years of
               increased international trade
  and, for Singapore, a decade of
  economic growth. The entrepot trade
  having been Singapore’s lifeblood for the
                                               The Department of Trade and its
                                               successor, the Ministry of Trade and
                                               Industry (MTI), provided both. Restrictions
                                               on foreign companies were minimal;
                                               private enterprise was given a free hand.
  past two centuries, it was not surprising    A secure financial infrastructure was set in
  that a department should have existed        place, and backed by political stability, it
  even then to handle all matters              successfully attracted companies from
  pertaining to trade.                         around the globe to invest in Singapore.

  Located in the Ministry of Finance (MOF),    Back to entrepot
  the Department of Trade was responsible      By the 1980s, however, the world trade
  primarily for processing export and import   situation had become one of increasing
  documentation. During this period, the       protectionism. Given the degree to which
  economic structure focused primarily on      Singapore’s prosperity depended on
  export and investment, and the               external markets, MTI responded by
  department’s priority was finding buyers     establishing a statutory board solely for
  for Singapore products – mainly              the purpose of promoting exports.
  electronics items at the time.
                                               The Trade Development Board (TDB) was
  Throughout the decade and right up to        accordingly inaugurated in 1983. More
  the formation of the Ministry of Trade       flexible than a government department
  and Industry from MOF’s Development          and better able to represent the interests
  Division in 1979, trade activities           of the private business community, the
  centred around export and foreign            TDB’s priority – compared to that of the
  investments. Attracting foreign              Trade Department – lay with promoting
  investors called for economic openness       imports for the re-export and
  and a high level of support.                 transhipment trade.



  8
bal




      9
(Gatt), expanded the TDB’s role still further.   The TDB accordingly implemented a wide
                                               The monitoring of trade processes was            range of support schemes during the
                                               brought under the department’s purview, as       early 90s, aimed at helping local
                                               was the task of ensuring that international      companies that wished to internationalise.
                                               rules and procedures were complied with.         They included assistance in franchising,
                                                                                                obtaining international certification and
                                               At the same time, the increased volume of        licensing. Simultaneously, the TDB began
                                               trade brought in by participation in Gatt        to act as secretariat for a number of
                                               sent the importance of swift and accurate        business groups aimed at enhancing
                                               documentation rocketing. The immediate           Singapore’s competitive advantage in
                                               result of this was a groundbreaking              various countries. 1994 marked the
                                               development: TradeNet, a nationwide              passing of the $3 billion mark in trade, a
                                               system for automating the processing of          net 50 per cent increase in total trade in
                                               trade documentation.                             just four years. The trend continued:
                                                                                                despite a 7.5 per cent decline brought
                                               Introduced in 1989, TradeNet was the first       about by the 1997-98 economic crisis,
                                               such nationwide system in the world, and         trade rebounded spectacularly in 000 to
                                               was wildly successful. Not only did it put       pass the $400 billion mark.
                                               Singapore on the map in terms of trade
                                               and technology, but it also stepped up           In the same year, the TDB launched the
                                               trade efficiency nearly four-fold. Within the    Approved Cyber Trader Scheme to
                                               year, half of all trade documents were           encourage the setting up of regional
                                               processed through TradeNet, saving billions      e-commerce trading centres in Singapore,
                                               of dollars in overheads and man-hours.           and the online version of the Trade Finance
                                                                                                System. These systems had been preceded
                                               As if celebrating this achievement, total        by GlobaLink and Statlink in 1995 and 1996
                                               trade in the following year exceeded the         respectively, both aimed at bringing the
                                               $00 billion mark. The figure heralded a         TDB’s services up to date with the increasing
The then-minister for trade and industry,      busy decade for the TDB. Trade                   prevalence of Internet technology.
Dr Tony Tan, said: “The success of             liberalisation had extended the
establishments like Jetro, Kotra (in Japan     department’s portfolio significantly:            Statlink in particular was a first in the
and Korea) and similar bodies in Taiwan        throughout the 1990s, Singapore’s                history of global trade: it allowed trade
and Hong Kong lent credence to the             presence in regional and international
belief that such a statutory board would       bodies ranging from Asean to the World
serve a useful purpose in Singapore.”          Trade Organization began to grow, and
                                               the department was responsible for
The TDB’s early activities were fairly         representing Singapore’s trade and
humble: the board started out processing       economic interests within these
trade documents and monitoring trade           organisations.
levels. Its promotion efforts were initially
limited to the publication of trade            It was also during this period that the
directories and newsletters listing            economic focus gradually shifted towards
exportable goods and services, and             facilitating the attempts of domestic
pointing out trade opportunities to            companies to move outwards. Singapore’s
overseas companies.                            international presence having been firmly
                                               established in the past decade, there was
Over the next decade, however, as              now room to more closely examine the
awareness of Singapore as a trade hub          role of Singapore-based companies in
grew, the scope of the TDB’s efforts           economic growth.
expanded commensurately. The department
went on to establish overseas offices from     The then-prime minister Goh Chok Tong
London to Sydney and Mumbai to                 said in his New Year message: “For the
Washington: a network which has, today,        next ten years - we must participate and
increased to over 30 offices worldwide.        ride on the growth in the region. If we do
                                               not trade with, invest or work in these
This heightened international presence,        fast-growing countries, we will miss the
combined with Singapore’s accession to the     boost they can give us.”
General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade

10
statistics to be loaded on to the Internet     companies which aim to expand their
concurrently with their release to the         operations abroad.
media, a service which no other country
had yet made available.                        Singapore brands that have become
                                               internationally renowned with the
From trade to enterprise                       assistance of IE Singapore include such
In 00, the changing nature of                well-known companies as BreadTalk,
Singapore’s internationalisation strategy      Banyan Tree, ST Electronics and many more
and the TDB’s role in that plan were           – names which are not only well-known,
reflected in the restructuring of the TDB as   but linked with Singapore in the eyes of
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.       their foreign partners and investors.

The department’s mission was reworked          The newly renamed IE Singapore went on
to focus on helping Singapore-based            to establish the Singapore Chamber of
companies to grow and internationalise –       Commerce and Industry in China, and
a natural next step for an organisation        followed this by launching a series of
that previously specialised in the             programmes and forums outlining new
facilitation of trade.                         strategies for Singapore-based companies
                                               to internationalise.
Chong Lit Cheong, IE Singapore’s CEO,
said: “This was in response to growing         These included the International Partners
recognition of the importance of               Programme (iPartners), which encourages
expanding beyond our shores for                companies to work in groups to compete
Singapore companies and our economy as         internationally. As of November 006, IE       see more high-growth companies
a whole to enjoy continued and                 Singapore has helped form 5 alliances         emerging in Singapore. Importantly, we
sustainable growth.”                           involving collaborations among 19             would like them to use Singapore as their
                                               companies.                                     home base and springboard, to spread
In April 00, IE Singapore was                                                               their wings into the region and beyond.”
inaugurated under the auspices of the          Moving forward
Ministry of Trade and Industry. Its mission    In a speech at the opening ceremony of         With a broad-based spectrum of
since then has been to provide support         last year’s IE Forum, Minister for Trade and   programmes aimed at upgrading the
and services to Singapore-based                Industry Lim Hng Kiang said: “We hope to       business capabilities of local enterprises,
                                                                                              and increasing their access to financing,
                                                                                              IE Singapore is doing all it can to fulfil
                                                                                              that vision.

                                                                                              In Mr Chong’s words: “IE Singapore is
                                                                                              committed to help Singapore-based
                                                                                              enterprises grow and internationalise
                                                                                              successfully. We will also be focusing on
                                                                                              growing our trade flows with new and
                                                                                              existing programmes to become the top
                                                                                              international trade hub for Singapore-
                                                                                              based enterprises.

                                                                                              “We will seek to deepen our engagement
                                                                                              with India and the Middle East while
                                                                                              cultivating China and Asean as our key
                                                                                              markets. We will also seek out new
                                                                                              opportunities in emerging markets such
                                                                                              as Russia and Latin America.

                                                                                              “With IE Singapore’s extensive network of
                                                                                              overseas centres, market insights, and
                                                                                              strong connections, we look forward to
                                                                                              bringing more Singapore-based
                                                                                              companies abroad and helping them
                                                                                              realise their global aspirations.”


                                                                                                                                        11
COVER sTORY – ECONOMY OVER THE YEARs




  singapore’s Economy:
  Then And Now
  Vikram Khanna looks at three key trends in the transformation of singapore’s economy in
  the last 30 years.

  The changed face of manufacturing                                                          worth of goods, or barely 0.7 per cent of
  and services                                                                               Singapore’s total exports. By 005, non-oil
  The Singapore economy has changed                                                          domestic exports to China had rocketed
  significantly since 1976. In terms of size,                                                more than 100 fold to $15.0 billion and
  it has grown by more than 10 times to a                                                    China accounted for 9.7 per cent of
  GDP of $194.4 billion at the end of last                                                   Singapore’s total exports. China’s share of
  year. While manufacturing and services                                                     Singapore’s exports has thus increased by
  have been the mainstays of the                                                             more than 13 times over that period.
  economy, the composition of both has
  changed markedly.                                                                          This reflects, first, the spectacular growth
                                                                                             and internationalisation of China’s
  For instance, in 1979, machinery and          1976, when it was dominated by               economy over that period – China started
  appliances accounted for 8.7 per cent of     wholesale and retail trading. Today,         to open its economy in 1978 – and
  manufacturing value added, and the            financial and business services, taken       second, China’s emergence as the centre
  electronics sector was not large enough       together, account for around 36 per cent     of the global supply chain, especially for
  to warrant being classified as a separate     of the service sector.                       electronic goods, in which Singapore is
  category. Petroleum products also ranked                                                   also a key player.
  high in 1979, accounting for 18 per cent      Singapore has emerged as a major
  of value added. However, by 005, the         financial centre in the region providing     India was a slightly larger market for
  share of machinery and equipment in           services that include foreign exchange,      Singapore than China in 1977, but it, too,
  total manufacturing value added had           financial futures and derivatives trading,   was small, absorbing less than $350
  fallen to 7.3 per cent.                       offshore banking, asset management,          million (or 1.7 per cent) of Singapore’s
                                                mergers and acquisitions and private         exports. By 004, Singapore’s non-oil
  Electronics alone accounted for 36 per        banking - which were either nascent or       domestic exports to India had leapt to
  cent of value added. The second largest       non-existent in the 1970s.                   $5.1 billion and India’s share of
  sector was pharmaceuticals (16.4 per                                                       Singapore’s total exports had doubled. In
  cent), which includes the biomedical          The Stock Exchange of Singapore,             recent years, India has emerged as
  and life sciences segment – new thrust        inaugurated in 1973 (now known as the        Singapore’s fastest growing trade partner.
  area – followed by chemicals (8 per           Singapore Exchange), currently has 693
  cent). Precision engineering and marine       listings, including more than 00
  and offshore engineering have also            companies from 0 countries.
  become key clusters in the new
  manufacturing landscape.                      New patterns of trade:
                                                China and India loom large
  These shifts have partly reflected a          Between 1977 and 005, Singapore’s
  deliberate strategy to restructure the        non-oil domestic exports rose  fold to
  economy towards higher-value added            $154.6 billion. While the United States,
  activities. Now, Singapore is harnessing      the European Union, Malaysia and Japan
  RD to move further up the value chain        have remained major markets throughout
  in areas including electronics, biomedical    that period, the marked change has
  sciences and chemicals.                       occurred in respect of China and to a
                                                lesser extent, India.
  The services sector, which accounts for
  63 per cent of Singapore’s GDP, has           In 1977, China was a tiny market for
  become much more diversified since            Singapore, absorbing only $145 million


  1
Going regional and global:                    Although these projects hit some early        About International Enterprise
an accelerating trend                         speed-bumps, they were eventually             Singapore
Given its relatively small domestic market,   successful. In recent years, Singaporean
Singapore’s economic strategy on trade        companies have been investing aggressively    International Enterprise (IE) Singapore
was always outward-oriented. When it          overseas to be part of a new international    is an agency under the Ministry of
came to outward investment, many              supply chain. They have also sought out       Trade and Industry spearheading the
companies have been investing regionally      new markets, in relatively unfamiliar         development of Singapore’s external
since the 1970s. However, Singapore’s         countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and      economic wing.
regionalisation drive accelerated after       Libya, plus the Middle East.
1993, when then Senior Minister Lee                                                         Our mission is to promote the overseas
Kuan Yew called for ‘a second wing’ for       Today, Singapore companies such as            growth of Singapore-based enterprises
the Singapore economy.                        Keppel, Sembawang, Ascendas, Capital          and international trade. With a global
                                              Land, NOL and Asia Pacific Breweries are      network in over 30 locations and our
Overseas investment by Singapore              well-known overseas. Even smaller             “3C” framework of assistance –
companies grew at an average of 9 per        companies, such as BreadTalk, OSIM and        Connections, Competency, Capital, we
cent from 1993 to 1997, the year of the       Want Want have established their names        offer services to help enterprises
Asian crisis. Between 1998 and the end of     outside Singapore.                            export, develop business capabilities,
004, the stock of Singapore’s direct                                                       find overseas partners and enter new
investment abroad more than doubled to        The Singapore government now has a            markets. At the same time, we work
$17. billion, close to 100 per cent of      dedicated agency – International              to position Singapore as a base for
Singapore’s 004 gross national income.       Enterprise Singapore – which helps            foreign businesses to expand into the
                                              companies internationalise. It has also       region in partnership with Singapore-
Most of Singapore’s FDI was in the area of    signed 11 free trade agreements with          based companies.
financial services, manufacturing and         major trading partners, including the US,
commerce. The biggest recipient countries     the European Free Trade Association,          Mission
(not counting locations in the Caribbean      Japan, Australia, India and Korea. These      To promote overseas growth of
and Latin America, which were used as         provide a range of benefits to boost          Singapore-based enterprises and
channels for investments by holding           Singapore companies’ overseas                 international trade
companies) were China, Malaysia,              investments, including preferential access
Indonesia, Hongkong, the European             to certain sectors, faster market entry and   Vision
Union and the United States.                  Intellectual Property (IP) protection.        A thriving business hub with globally
                                                                                            competitive enterprises and leading
Asian destinations accounted for $84          By 01, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade        international traders
billion, or almost one half, of Singapore’s   and Industry expects Singapore’s direct
stock of direct investments at end-004. In   investments abroad to cross $300              Please visit www.iesingapore.com
Singapore’s regionalisation drive, some of    billion, and earn annual returns of           for more information.
the early flagship projects started in the    around 8 per cent.
1990s were the industrial parks in Suzhou
and Wuxi in China and the Information
Technology Park in Bangalore, India.



                                                                                                                                 13
COVER sTORY – COMPANY PROFILE, CWT




  From Local To Global Player
  We look at one company’s growth into global expansion over the years.

  CWT was one of the earliest container         year, with net profit jumping 175 per cent   Geographically, the company has
  depot operators and trucking companies        to a record $9.5 million. Never one to be    expanded its presence to China, Sri
  in Singapore, with the initial shareholders   easily contented, Mr Loi Kai Meng,           Lanka, Pakistan, Egypt, Thailand, India,
  being notable names: PSA, DBS Bank,           Chairman of CWT, is still actively seeking   Korea, Australia, the Middle East and
  Intraco and NOL. Set up in 1970, the          operational capabilities in the region.      Malaysia, with astounding results.
  company was formed to prepare for the
  advent of containerisation in Singapore.      “We are capitalising on our strong           “The freight forwarding business is an
                                                presence in Singapore, to grow our           extremely scalable sector. Every quarter,
  The primary focus of CWT then was to          business internationally,” said Mr Loi.      CWT opens a new office. We plan to
  build up Singapore’s container trucking       “This will continue to be the key focus of   keep this up by consistently being on the
  capabilities, establish container depot       our group, as the company continues to       lookout for suitable areas for expansion,”
  operations and prepare for land-based         accelerate its growth in Asia as well as     said Mr Loi, a veteran in the logistic
  container operations that would be            around the region.”                          industry with 30 years of experience.
  needed with the onset of container
  terminal operations by PSA.                   As one of the major logistics players in     With an annual turnover of more than
                                                Asia offering integrated logistics           $00 million and staff strength of over
  CWT was subsequently listed in 1993 on        solutions, CWT services some of the          1700, the company currently manages
  the Singapore Exchange (SGX). The             world’s best known brands in the             more than 1.8 million square feet of
  company has been performing well              chemical, fast-moving consumer goods,        warehouse space, as well as a sizeable
  following an aggressive expansion route       healthcare, electronics, automotive and      transport fleet of 65 prime movers, 6
  embarked on by the company early this         industrial sectors. Revenue growth last      delivery trucks and  chassis in
  year. Group earnings more than doubled        year came mainly from its non-vessel         Singapore.
  for FY005, compared with the previous        common carrier (NVOCC) or freight
                                                forwarding business.                         The group’s largest warehouse is CWT
                                                                                             Distripark, which is also the flagship
                                                This can be attributed to its expanding      distribution complex of the group. Built
                                                subsidiary, CWT Globelink. In 1996,          next to the group’s headquarters in the
                                                CWT acquired a 51 per cent equity stake      Jurong Industrial Park, CWT Distripark
                                                in a local freight forwarding group,         was completed in December 1989 and is
                                                Globelink Forwarders Pte Ltd, and its        one of the largest and most modern
                                                subsidiaries. The acquired company was       distribution complexes in Singapore.
                                                named CWT Globelink Pte Ltd. In 00,
                                                CWT successfully acquired the remaining      Around the region, the company is the
                                                34 per cent shares in CWT Globelink,         first and only firm to have won the
                                                making it a wholly owned subsidiary of       Intelligent0 Award for four consecutive
                                                CWT, thus strengthening the group’s          years, for its e-solutions that provides
                                                global distribution logistics business.      interactivity, giving customers value-added
                                                Today, CWT Globelink, the freight-           total logistics management and visibility.
                                                forwarding subsidiary of CWT, provides       The award is the most coveted IT award in
                                                the global reach to the group’s logistics    the Asia-Pacific, presented annually to 0
                                                solutions, with around 50 offices            companies that make IT work for them by
                                                covering some 150 main ports and 1,800       combining the right business focus, the
                                                destinations worldwide.                      right people, the best business value and
                                                                                             the best execution strategy.
                                                The logistics capability of CWT was
                                                further enhanced when local transport        These series of articles first appeared
                                                and packaging group, CP Holdings            in The Business Times, Wednesday,
                                                Limited, became a major shareholder of       October 18, 2006. Reprinted with
                                                the company. Currently, CP holds a total    permission.
                                                stake of about 75 per cent in CWT.



  14

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Going Global Pays Off

  • 1. COVER sTORY – TRADE FOCUs sPECIAL Going Glob Pays Off Mint Kang traces the roots of singapore’s push towards global trade and its evolution over the past three decades. T he 1970s were years of increased international trade and, for Singapore, a decade of economic growth. The entrepot trade having been Singapore’s lifeblood for the The Department of Trade and its successor, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), provided both. Restrictions on foreign companies were minimal; private enterprise was given a free hand. past two centuries, it was not surprising A secure financial infrastructure was set in that a department should have existed place, and backed by political stability, it even then to handle all matters successfully attracted companies from pertaining to trade. around the globe to invest in Singapore. Located in the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Back to entrepot the Department of Trade was responsible By the 1980s, however, the world trade primarily for processing export and import situation had become one of increasing documentation. During this period, the protectionism. Given the degree to which economic structure focused primarily on Singapore’s prosperity depended on export and investment, and the external markets, MTI responded by department’s priority was finding buyers establishing a statutory board solely for for Singapore products – mainly the purpose of promoting exports. electronics items at the time. The Trade Development Board (TDB) was Throughout the decade and right up to accordingly inaugurated in 1983. More the formation of the Ministry of Trade flexible than a government department and Industry from MOF’s Development and better able to represent the interests Division in 1979, trade activities of the private business community, the centred around export and foreign TDB’s priority – compared to that of the investments. Attracting foreign Trade Department – lay with promoting investors called for economic openness imports for the re-export and and a high level of support. transhipment trade. 8
  • 2. bal 9
  • 3. (Gatt), expanded the TDB’s role still further. The TDB accordingly implemented a wide The monitoring of trade processes was range of support schemes during the brought under the department’s purview, as early 90s, aimed at helping local was the task of ensuring that international companies that wished to internationalise. rules and procedures were complied with. They included assistance in franchising, obtaining international certification and At the same time, the increased volume of licensing. Simultaneously, the TDB began trade brought in by participation in Gatt to act as secretariat for a number of sent the importance of swift and accurate business groups aimed at enhancing documentation rocketing. The immediate Singapore’s competitive advantage in result of this was a groundbreaking various countries. 1994 marked the development: TradeNet, a nationwide passing of the $3 billion mark in trade, a system for automating the processing of net 50 per cent increase in total trade in trade documentation. just four years. The trend continued: despite a 7.5 per cent decline brought Introduced in 1989, TradeNet was the first about by the 1997-98 economic crisis, such nationwide system in the world, and trade rebounded spectacularly in 000 to was wildly successful. Not only did it put pass the $400 billion mark. Singapore on the map in terms of trade and technology, but it also stepped up In the same year, the TDB launched the trade efficiency nearly four-fold. Within the Approved Cyber Trader Scheme to year, half of all trade documents were encourage the setting up of regional processed through TradeNet, saving billions e-commerce trading centres in Singapore, of dollars in overheads and man-hours. and the online version of the Trade Finance System. These systems had been preceded As if celebrating this achievement, total by GlobaLink and Statlink in 1995 and 1996 trade in the following year exceeded the respectively, both aimed at bringing the $00 billion mark. The figure heralded a TDB’s services up to date with the increasing The then-minister for trade and industry, busy decade for the TDB. Trade prevalence of Internet technology. Dr Tony Tan, said: “The success of liberalisation had extended the establishments like Jetro, Kotra (in Japan department’s portfolio significantly: Statlink in particular was a first in the and Korea) and similar bodies in Taiwan throughout the 1990s, Singapore’s history of global trade: it allowed trade and Hong Kong lent credence to the presence in regional and international belief that such a statutory board would bodies ranging from Asean to the World serve a useful purpose in Singapore.” Trade Organization began to grow, and the department was responsible for The TDB’s early activities were fairly representing Singapore’s trade and humble: the board started out processing economic interests within these trade documents and monitoring trade organisations. levels. Its promotion efforts were initially limited to the publication of trade It was also during this period that the directories and newsletters listing economic focus gradually shifted towards exportable goods and services, and facilitating the attempts of domestic pointing out trade opportunities to companies to move outwards. Singapore’s overseas companies. international presence having been firmly established in the past decade, there was Over the next decade, however, as now room to more closely examine the awareness of Singapore as a trade hub role of Singapore-based companies in grew, the scope of the TDB’s efforts economic growth. expanded commensurately. The department went on to establish overseas offices from The then-prime minister Goh Chok Tong London to Sydney and Mumbai to said in his New Year message: “For the Washington: a network which has, today, next ten years - we must participate and increased to over 30 offices worldwide. ride on the growth in the region. If we do not trade with, invest or work in these This heightened international presence, fast-growing countries, we will miss the combined with Singapore’s accession to the boost they can give us.” General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade 10
  • 4. statistics to be loaded on to the Internet companies which aim to expand their concurrently with their release to the operations abroad. media, a service which no other country had yet made available. Singapore brands that have become internationally renowned with the From trade to enterprise assistance of IE Singapore include such In 00, the changing nature of well-known companies as BreadTalk, Singapore’s internationalisation strategy Banyan Tree, ST Electronics and many more and the TDB’s role in that plan were – names which are not only well-known, reflected in the restructuring of the TDB as but linked with Singapore in the eyes of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore. their foreign partners and investors. The department’s mission was reworked The newly renamed IE Singapore went on to focus on helping Singapore-based to establish the Singapore Chamber of companies to grow and internationalise – Commerce and Industry in China, and a natural next step for an organisation followed this by launching a series of that previously specialised in the programmes and forums outlining new facilitation of trade. strategies for Singapore-based companies to internationalise. Chong Lit Cheong, IE Singapore’s CEO, said: “This was in response to growing These included the International Partners recognition of the importance of Programme (iPartners), which encourages expanding beyond our shores for companies to work in groups to compete Singapore companies and our economy as internationally. As of November 006, IE see more high-growth companies a whole to enjoy continued and Singapore has helped form 5 alliances emerging in Singapore. Importantly, we sustainable growth.” involving collaborations among 19 would like them to use Singapore as their companies. home base and springboard, to spread In April 00, IE Singapore was their wings into the region and beyond.” inaugurated under the auspices of the Moving forward Ministry of Trade and Industry. Its mission In a speech at the opening ceremony of With a broad-based spectrum of since then has been to provide support last year’s IE Forum, Minister for Trade and programmes aimed at upgrading the and services to Singapore-based Industry Lim Hng Kiang said: “We hope to business capabilities of local enterprises, and increasing their access to financing, IE Singapore is doing all it can to fulfil that vision. In Mr Chong’s words: “IE Singapore is committed to help Singapore-based enterprises grow and internationalise successfully. We will also be focusing on growing our trade flows with new and existing programmes to become the top international trade hub for Singapore- based enterprises. “We will seek to deepen our engagement with India and the Middle East while cultivating China and Asean as our key markets. We will also seek out new opportunities in emerging markets such as Russia and Latin America. “With IE Singapore’s extensive network of overseas centres, market insights, and strong connections, we look forward to bringing more Singapore-based companies abroad and helping them realise their global aspirations.” 11
  • 5. COVER sTORY – ECONOMY OVER THE YEARs singapore’s Economy: Then And Now Vikram Khanna looks at three key trends in the transformation of singapore’s economy in the last 30 years. The changed face of manufacturing worth of goods, or barely 0.7 per cent of and services Singapore’s total exports. By 005, non-oil The Singapore economy has changed domestic exports to China had rocketed significantly since 1976. In terms of size, more than 100 fold to $15.0 billion and it has grown by more than 10 times to a China accounted for 9.7 per cent of GDP of $194.4 billion at the end of last Singapore’s total exports. China’s share of year. While manufacturing and services Singapore’s exports has thus increased by have been the mainstays of the more than 13 times over that period. economy, the composition of both has changed markedly. This reflects, first, the spectacular growth and internationalisation of China’s For instance, in 1979, machinery and 1976, when it was dominated by economy over that period – China started appliances accounted for 8.7 per cent of wholesale and retail trading. Today, to open its economy in 1978 – and manufacturing value added, and the financial and business services, taken second, China’s emergence as the centre electronics sector was not large enough together, account for around 36 per cent of the global supply chain, especially for to warrant being classified as a separate of the service sector. electronic goods, in which Singapore is category. Petroleum products also ranked also a key player. high in 1979, accounting for 18 per cent Singapore has emerged as a major of value added. However, by 005, the financial centre in the region providing India was a slightly larger market for share of machinery and equipment in services that include foreign exchange, Singapore than China in 1977, but it, too, total manufacturing value added had financial futures and derivatives trading, was small, absorbing less than $350 fallen to 7.3 per cent. offshore banking, asset management, million (or 1.7 per cent) of Singapore’s mergers and acquisitions and private exports. By 004, Singapore’s non-oil Electronics alone accounted for 36 per banking - which were either nascent or domestic exports to India had leapt to cent of value added. The second largest non-existent in the 1970s. $5.1 billion and India’s share of sector was pharmaceuticals (16.4 per Singapore’s total exports had doubled. In cent), which includes the biomedical The Stock Exchange of Singapore, recent years, India has emerged as and life sciences segment – new thrust inaugurated in 1973 (now known as the Singapore’s fastest growing trade partner. area – followed by chemicals (8 per Singapore Exchange), currently has 693 cent). Precision engineering and marine listings, including more than 00 and offshore engineering have also companies from 0 countries. become key clusters in the new manufacturing landscape. New patterns of trade: China and India loom large These shifts have partly reflected a Between 1977 and 005, Singapore’s deliberate strategy to restructure the non-oil domestic exports rose fold to economy towards higher-value added $154.6 billion. While the United States, activities. Now, Singapore is harnessing the European Union, Malaysia and Japan RD to move further up the value chain have remained major markets throughout in areas including electronics, biomedical that period, the marked change has sciences and chemicals. occurred in respect of China and to a lesser extent, India. The services sector, which accounts for 63 per cent of Singapore’s GDP, has In 1977, China was a tiny market for become much more diversified since Singapore, absorbing only $145 million 1
  • 6. Going regional and global: Although these projects hit some early About International Enterprise an accelerating trend speed-bumps, they were eventually Singapore Given its relatively small domestic market, successful. In recent years, Singaporean Singapore’s economic strategy on trade companies have been investing aggressively International Enterprise (IE) Singapore was always outward-oriented. When it overseas to be part of a new international is an agency under the Ministry of came to outward investment, many supply chain. They have also sought out Trade and Industry spearheading the companies have been investing regionally new markets, in relatively unfamiliar development of Singapore’s external since the 1970s. However, Singapore’s countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and economic wing. regionalisation drive accelerated after Libya, plus the Middle East. 1993, when then Senior Minister Lee Our mission is to promote the overseas Kuan Yew called for ‘a second wing’ for Today, Singapore companies such as growth of Singapore-based enterprises the Singapore economy. Keppel, Sembawang, Ascendas, Capital and international trade. With a global Land, NOL and Asia Pacific Breweries are network in over 30 locations and our Overseas investment by Singapore well-known overseas. Even smaller “3C” framework of assistance – companies grew at an average of 9 per companies, such as BreadTalk, OSIM and Connections, Competency, Capital, we cent from 1993 to 1997, the year of the Want Want have established their names offer services to help enterprises Asian crisis. Between 1998 and the end of outside Singapore. export, develop business capabilities, 004, the stock of Singapore’s direct find overseas partners and enter new investment abroad more than doubled to The Singapore government now has a markets. At the same time, we work $17. billion, close to 100 per cent of dedicated agency – International to position Singapore as a base for Singapore’s 004 gross national income. Enterprise Singapore – which helps foreign businesses to expand into the companies internationalise. It has also region in partnership with Singapore- Most of Singapore’s FDI was in the area of signed 11 free trade agreements with based companies. financial services, manufacturing and major trading partners, including the US, commerce. The biggest recipient countries the European Free Trade Association, Mission (not counting locations in the Caribbean Japan, Australia, India and Korea. These To promote overseas growth of and Latin America, which were used as provide a range of benefits to boost Singapore-based enterprises and channels for investments by holding Singapore companies’ overseas international trade companies) were China, Malaysia, investments, including preferential access Indonesia, Hongkong, the European to certain sectors, faster market entry and Vision Union and the United States. Intellectual Property (IP) protection. A thriving business hub with globally competitive enterprises and leading Asian destinations accounted for $84 By 01, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade international traders billion, or almost one half, of Singapore’s and Industry expects Singapore’s direct stock of direct investments at end-004. In investments abroad to cross $300 Please visit www.iesingapore.com Singapore’s regionalisation drive, some of billion, and earn annual returns of for more information. the early flagship projects started in the around 8 per cent. 1990s were the industrial parks in Suzhou and Wuxi in China and the Information Technology Park in Bangalore, India. 13
  • 7. COVER sTORY – COMPANY PROFILE, CWT From Local To Global Player We look at one company’s growth into global expansion over the years. CWT was one of the earliest container year, with net profit jumping 175 per cent Geographically, the company has depot operators and trucking companies to a record $9.5 million. Never one to be expanded its presence to China, Sri in Singapore, with the initial shareholders easily contented, Mr Loi Kai Meng, Lanka, Pakistan, Egypt, Thailand, India, being notable names: PSA, DBS Bank, Chairman of CWT, is still actively seeking Korea, Australia, the Middle East and Intraco and NOL. Set up in 1970, the operational capabilities in the region. Malaysia, with astounding results. company was formed to prepare for the advent of containerisation in Singapore. “We are capitalising on our strong “The freight forwarding business is an presence in Singapore, to grow our extremely scalable sector. Every quarter, The primary focus of CWT then was to business internationally,” said Mr Loi. CWT opens a new office. We plan to build up Singapore’s container trucking “This will continue to be the key focus of keep this up by consistently being on the capabilities, establish container depot our group, as the company continues to lookout for suitable areas for expansion,” operations and prepare for land-based accelerate its growth in Asia as well as said Mr Loi, a veteran in the logistic container operations that would be around the region.” industry with 30 years of experience. needed with the onset of container terminal operations by PSA. As one of the major logistics players in With an annual turnover of more than Asia offering integrated logistics $00 million and staff strength of over CWT was subsequently listed in 1993 on solutions, CWT services some of the 1700, the company currently manages the Singapore Exchange (SGX). The world’s best known brands in the more than 1.8 million square feet of company has been performing well chemical, fast-moving consumer goods, warehouse space, as well as a sizeable following an aggressive expansion route healthcare, electronics, automotive and transport fleet of 65 prime movers, 6 embarked on by the company early this industrial sectors. Revenue growth last delivery trucks and chassis in year. Group earnings more than doubled year came mainly from its non-vessel Singapore. for FY005, compared with the previous common carrier (NVOCC) or freight forwarding business. The group’s largest warehouse is CWT Distripark, which is also the flagship This can be attributed to its expanding distribution complex of the group. Built subsidiary, CWT Globelink. In 1996, next to the group’s headquarters in the CWT acquired a 51 per cent equity stake Jurong Industrial Park, CWT Distripark in a local freight forwarding group, was completed in December 1989 and is Globelink Forwarders Pte Ltd, and its one of the largest and most modern subsidiaries. The acquired company was distribution complexes in Singapore. named CWT Globelink Pte Ltd. In 00, CWT successfully acquired the remaining Around the region, the company is the 34 per cent shares in CWT Globelink, first and only firm to have won the making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Intelligent0 Award for four consecutive CWT, thus strengthening the group’s years, for its e-solutions that provides global distribution logistics business. interactivity, giving customers value-added Today, CWT Globelink, the freight- total logistics management and visibility. forwarding subsidiary of CWT, provides The award is the most coveted IT award in the global reach to the group’s logistics the Asia-Pacific, presented annually to 0 solutions, with around 50 offices companies that make IT work for them by covering some 150 main ports and 1,800 combining the right business focus, the destinations worldwide. right people, the best business value and the best execution strategy. The logistics capability of CWT was further enhanced when local transport These series of articles first appeared and packaging group, CP Holdings in The Business Times, Wednesday, Limited, became a major shareholder of October 18, 2006. Reprinted with the company. Currently, CP holds a total permission. stake of about 75 per cent in CWT. 14