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Nine companies to represent Apparel Singapore seal of trust
16
Jul '08
Speech of Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister For Trade And Industry at the launch of Apparel Singapore at The Pod, National Library.

Not many people know that the largest suppliers for international brands like Nike, Macy's and GAP are actually apparel manufacturers based in Singapore. They have been able to ride the wave of globalisation by offering an integrated global sourcing solution to established global retailers and buyers.

Our T&A companies have been able to provide flexibility and customisation of service offerings to these global customers by leveraging on the cost-effective manufacturing locations in China, South East Asia and South Asia, and basing their headquarter functions in Singapore.

The global apparel industry has seen strong growth over the past few years. In 2006, more than US$310 billion worth of textile and apparel were traded internationally, with Asia accounting for 70% of the exports.

Last year, the combined manufacturing output for our T&A sector was estimated at some S$6 billion. The outlook remains optimistic, with local apparel manufacturers aiming to grow output by 15% at the end of the next five years.

With the elimination of global export quotas, international buyers are now placing even stricter demands on apparel manufacturers in terms of price, quality and delivery time. Global competition in apparel sourcing will intensify. Hence, it is important for us not only to continually upgrade our capabilities, but also to regularly cultivate our existing and potential trading partners in the global arena so that they will have a better appreciation of our apparel manufacturers' strengths and capabilities.

Launch of Apparel Singapore
Apparel Singapore is a joint effort by the government and industry to help Singapore-based apparel manufacturers expand their international customer base and strengthen business relationships with buyers. This collective brand identity embodies our value offerings as trusted business partners – highly reliable, reputable, customer-focused, adaptable and integrated service offerings.

Spearheaded by TaFf and supported by SPRING Singapore and IE Singapore, the launch of Apparel Singapore marks a major milestone for the industry. It not only unites the companies that qualify as brand ambassadors, but also serves as a standard that other companies could aspire to.

The brand ambassadors will carry the Apparel Singapore seal of trust alongside their own company logos. They will be recognised as trusted business partners who respect intellectual property, comply with strict social and environmental standards.

For a start, nine companies will represent Singapore as Apparel Singapore brand ambassadors. They will serve to raise global awareness of Singapore's apparel manufacturing capabilities and the high standards that we uphold. Over the next six months, we will be introducing Apparel Singapore to the US and Japan markets.

Continuous Upgrading of Capabilities
Complementing the marketing aspects under Apparel Singapore, we also have ongoing initiatives to build capabilities in design and technology. I am glad that the industry has also taken the lead to constantly upgrade its capabilities and boost competitiveness.

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