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01 Jun 2004 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 50

Gum no longer a sticking point

Following the recent signing of a Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Singapore, chewing gum has returned to the South-East Asian island nation for the first time in several years.


Impress Gum USA used IDEM Singapore 2004 as the venue to launch its therapeutic gum to the dental profession during a breakfast staged by the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Franklin Lavin, to personally welcome the 31 U.S. exhibitors at the show.

At the conclusion of the breakfast, the Ambassador witnessed the signing of the historic agreement between Impress Gum and its new Singapore-based distributor, Kingston Medical Supplies (Pte. Ltd).

"The signing of the Free Trade Agreement means that it is now easier for our two countries to do business," the Ambassador said, "however, it is not automatically a key to success. Businesses on both sides need to be 'nimble' to take advantage of new markets as they are opened up and it will depend on how savvy the individual companies are. Ultimately, the winners are the consumers.

"IDEM is a very important show for U.S. companies to participate in," the Ambassador said. "Singapore is a small market in itself and far away, but it is a key launching pad into the South East Asian region.

"Singapore is the ideal place for U.S. SME's [small to medium enterprises] to come to Asia. It is an affluent, English-speaking market that is very familiar with U.S. products. For companies too small to open an office in every country in the region, Singapore provides a cost-effective base from which to enter the market."

The Ambassador said that U.S. exports to Singapore were greater than to all of Africa and the former Soviet Union; exports to the ten South-East Asian countries in total were double that of all U.S. exports to China.

"Trade exhibitions such as IDEM are the ideal way to establish and build long-term commercial relationships between manufacturers and distributors," the Ambassador said. "Showing up is very important and it demonstrates a real commitment."

According to the Ambassador, over 1500 U.S companies have offices or manufacturing facilities in Singapore and 10% of Singaporeans are employed by U.S. companies.

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