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Inaugural SBF Overseas Market Workshop to Japan provides Singapore companies a first-hand look at new technologies, innovative solutions and opportunities for collaboration

Twenty-eight participants from 23 companies, led by Mr Eugene Wong, Vice Chairman of SBF’s China and North Asia Business Group and Chairman of CrimsonLogic, attended SBF’s first overseas market workshop to Japan, held between 16 and 20 April 2018.

The workshop, supported by Enterprise Singapore, is aimed at giving Singapore companies a first-hand look at the development of new technologies and innovative solutions used by Japanese companies and is part of SBF’s greater efforts to expose companies to new ideas, trends, developments, and technologies which can help open up new avenues of growth for their businesses.

Sharing his thoughts, Mr Wong said: “Japan as we know is recognised as a leading developer of new inventions, especially in the development and ingenious application of artificial intelligence and robotics for a wide range of industries. Singapore companies can tap on Japan’s expertise and innovations for a wide range of opportunities both for Singapore and as partners for collaboration in third country markets.”

Over the five-day workshop, the Singapore participants visited leading technology innovators in Tokyo, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, such as ACSL, a leader in the development of UAVs in Japan, and logistics solution and technology developers such as Hitachi Transport System, Isuzu Motors and Yamato Transport. Participants also met executives from Softbank Group Corp., ABEJA.INC and Aucfan Co., Ltd to learn about the technology investments made by their respective funds and clients to augment existing businesses.

The delegation was also briefed by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and the Japan Innovation Network (JIN) on the Japanese government’s programmes to promote innovation.

To foster closer collaboration between Singapore and Japanese business communities, the delegation was hosted to a business dialogue and networking session with Japanese companies by the ASEAN Japan Business Council and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).

Participants also had the privilege of meeting with Singapore’s ambassador to Japan, Mr Lui Tuck Yew, who shared his insights on how Singapore companies could work with Japanese companies for successful collaborations.

Describing the Japan trip as enriching and eye-opening, Mr Darren Kho, Managing Director of Lexbuild Wheels & Rail, appreciated the sharing and exchange of best practices by Singapore and Japanese companies. Sharing his thoughts on the programme, Mr Kho said: “I greatly appreciated the great networking among the delegates as well as with the Japanese business counterparts that may open up new potential business collaborations.”

Mr Johnny Teo, Global Markets Director (Northeast Asia and Oceania), said “Singapore and Japan enjoy close trade and investment ties. SBF’s inaugural overseas market workshop to Japan provides a valuable platform for our local companies to gain insights into the latest technologies and innovations there and establish contacts for potential collaborations. Enterprise Singapore will continue to work closely with our partners like SBF to support such cross-border efforts in helping Singapore companies explore expansion opportunities in Japan.”

Summing up the trip, Mr Eugene Wong described this First SBF organised Overseas Market workshop to Japan as very rewarding as it brought together a cross-section of Singapore companies ranging from technology developers and logistics services providers to investors from venture capital funds, as well as manufacturers and other users of the technologies and logistics services to learn from highly innovative Japanese companies featured in this workshop. The learning as well as closer network would enable our firms to think differently in this innovation led disruptive world.

He said: “Singapore SMEs need to go out and see the world and learn new innovative business models, I encouraged SMEs to tap on SBF as it regularly organises business delegations and study visits to overseas markets of interest to help Singapore businesses establish new contacts, tap into overseas market opportunities, as well as help Singapore businesses explore collaboration and form alliances for business opportunities.”

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