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Press Release

Newly launched national initiative BuySingaporeTM slated to boost exports through its online platform

An estimated S$10 million to be invested in the BuySingaporeTM initiative to showcase 100,000 Singapore companies internationally.

Singapore , 13 November 2006

1. Exporting has just become easier for Singapore enterprises with the launch of BuySingaporeTM. Slated to be Singapore 's single most comprehensive online business matching and trading portal, BuySingapore ( http://www.buysingapore.com/) was launched today by Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry.

2. A national initiative by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore in collaboration with private sector partner, Abecha Pte Ltd, BuySingaporeTM aims to help 100,000 Singapore enterprises showcase their products and services by leveraging on the strong attributes of the Singapore Brand - reliability, top quality and high value-add.

3. An estimated S$10 million will be invested in the BuySingaporeTM initiative by both IE Singapore and Abecha Pte Ltd to develop and market the portal over the next five years. Abecha will oversee areas such as local marketing, customer service and daily operations  of  the  portal while  IE Singapore  will take the lead in
acquiring foreign leads via its global presence in over 35 locations worldwide. Through this joint effort, IE Singapore aims to attract 30,000 foreign trade leads annually to be disseminated through the portal.


4. BuySingaporeTM will facilitate the online business matching of local and foreign enterprises by allowing them to create and view company profiles, trade leads and product catalogues spanning a wide range of industry sectors, from manufacturing, electronics to food and lifestyle products and services. Through an auto-matching mechanism, enterprises will also be alerted of appropriate matches, allowing local and foreign businesses to make those first connections with each other.


5. Results of DP Information Group's SME Survey for 2005 and 2006 showed that , acquiring overseas contacts and business partners were challenges faced by Singapore enterprises in their bid to expand overseas. With the launch of BuySingaporeTM, IE Singapore aims to address and facilitate these needs by providing a ready and user-friendly online platform for businesses to profile their products and services worldwide.

6. Mr Chong Lit Cheong, Chief Executive Officer, IE Singapore said, “for many Singapore enterprises, exporting will be their first step to internationalisation. With BuySingaporeTM, companies can benefit from the already established “ Singapore ” brand name and collective marketing of Singapore 's key industries. With plans to proactively acquire foreign leads and aggressively market the portal, we aim to establish BuySingaporeTM as the trusted e-platform for overseas companies to procure Singapore products and services.”

7. To market BuySingaporeTM locally, Abecha will work with IE Singapore's MOU partners, various trade associations and channel partners such as Yellow Pages, DP Information, INSIS and SESAMi to market and drive awareness as well as ensure up to date company and industry information.

8. Said Mr Ong Teck Soon, CEO of Abecha Pte Ltd, “we are focused on providing Singapore enterprises with a competitive advantage via the e-commerce channel. Being one of the largest eMarketplace service providers in Singapore , we are positioned to create value for local enterprises to help them compete in the global marketplace”

9. Since April this year, BuySingaporeTM has begun its outreach to foreign companies interested in looking for local partners through international tradeshows like Foodex Japan , Nepcon Shanghai and SIAL 06 in Paris . Next year, IE Singapore will continue its efforts in key markets and regions such as the ASEAN, North Asia , UAE, India , Germany and Australia , by tapping on its global network as well as through road shows and trade shows.

10. For local or foreign enterprises who are interested in signing up with BuySingaporeTM or for more information, please visit http://www.buysingapore.com/.


11. Annex 1 : Speech of Mr Thian Tai Chew, Director of International Enterprise Singapore


About International Enterprise Singapore

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry spearheading Singapore 's efforts to develop its external economic wing. We were formerly known as the Singapore Trade Development Board.

Our mission is to help Singapore-based companies grow and internationalise successfully. We offer a wide range of services in over 35 locations worldwide by using a “3C” framework of assistance – Competency, Connections and Capital. We provide market information, and assist enterprises to export, develop their business capabilities and find overseas partners. At the same time, IE Singapore works to position Singapore as a base for foreign businesses to expand into the region in partnership with Singapore-based companies.

Please visit www.iesingapore.com for more information.



About Abecha Pte Ltd

Abecha Pte Ltd, a joint-venture of SESAMi, Microsoft and Intraco is a premier sourcing and procurement service provider. It was founded in July 2001 with JTC Corporation with the mandate to serve JTC's community of 7,000 industrial business tenants. Being one of the largest eMarketplace service providers in Singapore , we offer a range of services in collaboration with the Singapore Government to help local SMEs to reach out and compete in the global marketplaces. Some of our core services are sourcing services, eAuction, demand aggregation, procurement and business centre services.

Please visit www.abecha.comfor more information



About BuySingaporeTM  (http://www.buysingapore.com/)

BuySingaporeTM is a national initiative by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore in collaboration with private sector partner, Abecha Pte Ltd, to help local enterprises market their products and services internationally through an online business matching and trading portal. IE Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for promoting the overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises and international trade. BuySingaporeTM also aims to be the one-stop, trusted e-platform for foreign companies to search for local business contacts or procure Singapore products and services.

Spanning a wide range of industry sectors, BuySingaporeTM allows local and foreign enterprises to access trade leads from one of the most reliable and comprehensive databases. It also provides a sophisticated auto-business matching mechanism that alerts enterprises of appropriate matches, allowing businesses to make their first connection with each other.


Please visit http://www.buysingapore.com/ for more information.


Annex 1
WELCOME ADDRESS BY MR THIAN TAI CHEW, DIRECTOR, ENTERPRISE GROUP, INTERNATIONAL ENTERPRISE SINGAPORE, AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF BUYSINGAPORE, MERCHANT COURT HOTEL, 13 NOVEMBER 2006, 9.05 AM

Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Lee Yi Shyan,
Mr Ong Teck Soon, CEO of Abecha Pte Ltd
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

1. Good morning and a warm welcome to the launch of the BuySingaporeTM initiative.

2. In today's globalised economy, expanding overseas continues to dominate the minds of many Singapore-based enterprises, particularly among the small and medium enterprises.

3. According to the 2006 SME Development Survey carried out by DP Information Group, expanding into new overseas markets is the second most important business strategy among SMEs for the next 1-2 years. This strategy is most important to companies that are in the early stages of growth.

4. However, expanding overseas is not a bed of roses. There are many challenges faced by companies when venturing abroad. In the same survey mentioned earlier, lack of manpower (36%), overseas knowledge (34%) and overseas business contacts (33%) are identified as the top challenges faced by our companies.

5. The good news is that we are not facing these challenges alone in Singapore . In a very recent joint OECD/APEC study project on “Removing Barriers to SME Access to International Markets”, SMEs from 53 countries were surveyed and it was found that identifying foreign business opportunities was the number 2 barrier to SME accessing international markets.

6. Back in IE, our Customer Service Centre also received and serviced many enquiries from Singapore-based enterprises on finding venturing abroad. Besides government incentives, finding foreign business contacts is the next top enquiry serviced by our Customer Service Centre

What BuySingaporeTM is About

7. Therefore BuySingaporeTM is an initiative heeding the call of our local enterprises, particularly the SMEs, to help them increase their overseas growth and forge partnerships abroad.

8. BuySingaporeTM is a national initiative led by IE Singapore and our key collaboration partner from the private sector is Abecha Pte Ltd, a premier sourcing and procurement e-services provider.

9. Our vision for BuySingaporeTM is for it to become the default national e-channel for overseas enterprises to Search, Match and Connect with Singapore-based enterprises. We want BuySingapore to be a globally recognised website showcasing the most comprehensive business leads, products and services from Singapore, and one that leverages on Singapore 's strong brand name denoting trustworthiness, reliability and quality, and high value add.

10. BuySingaporeTM initiative is more than just a .com portal. Behind the portal front is an active foreign marketing and leads acquisition plan championed by IE. As a start, IE will be promoting BuySingapore actively in key overseas tradeshows and business missions. I was told there are about 200 overseas trade shows and missions planned a year, either to be led by IE or trade associations, and we will tap on each of these events in overseas markets to promote BuySingapore and acquire foreign business leads.

11. We will streamline and improve on our existing foreign business leads collection channels and also develop new channels as well. We will actively acquire foreign leads through our presence in over 35 locations worldwide, we will engage overseas marketing agents and partner our overseas trade counterparts to ensure that BuySingaporeTM will provide plenty of opportunities for Singapore-based enterprises to connect with international markets. Our target is to disseminate at least 30,000 foreign leads through BuySingapore annually.

12. To attract users to BuySingaporeTM, we will work with different industry partners to ensure that BuySingaporeTM has comprehensive and updated contents. For example, we have collaborated with Singapore Information Services and Yellow Pages to provide information about our companies and their products and services. To increase the confidence to our overseas users, we have also linked up with DP Information Group to provide credit rating of over 1,500 Singapore companies listed on BuySingapore.

13. To ensure we have up to date industry information, we will seek out partnerships with local industry players, associations and government agencies, such as with IDA to obtain the latest information on the ICT industry in Singapore.

14. Last but not least, we will also work with our supporting partners, all the key chambers and trade associations, to raise the awareness and the relevance of BuySingaporeTM to their member communities.

Conclusion

15. With increasing global competition and advances in technology, leveraging on e-platform is certainly an attractive proposition for companies wanting to grow globally. Later in the morning, you will hear from Mr Andy Sim from Cisco Systems who will share with you how internet has changed corporations in their engagement model with their customers and Mr Ryan Chioh will share with you how Far East Flora reaches out to and capture new markets and customers with e-commerce.

16. In closing, I would like to encourage all Singapore-based enterprises to take advantage of this new national initiative to search, connect and match foreign business opportunities to achieve overseas growth for your companies. We believe BuySingapore can help Singapore-based enterprises expand overseas and reach out to multiple markets and new customers in a cost-effective manner. For those who do not know IE well, you may wish to note that promoting the overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises is the mission of IE.

17. On this note, I wish all of you a fruitful hands-on experience with BuySingaporeTM and I look forward to seeing your active participation in the BuySingaporeTM community. Thank you.

The Launch of BuySinagpore is supported by:



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