Company Updates

Trustana launches Global Expansion Program for SME F&B brands and manufacturers in Singapore and China; opening access to an international market worth SGD$4.5 trillion

Singapore, 22 November 2021 –  Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that supply and manufacture F&B products in Singapore and China can now tap on a new Global Expansion Program that will help them access an international market worth over SGD$4.5 trillion (USD $3.3 trillion)1. The Global Expansion Program was officially launched today by Trustana, a cross-border trade and sourcing platform, supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity Initiative Administrative Bureau (CCIB).

The Program aims to be an all-in-one solution to help SMEs overcome barriers in expanding overseas such as the lack of physical presence, relevant knowledge, and resources.  Suppliers from Singapore and China selected for the Global Expansion Program can look forward to receiving assistance with exporting and access to additional sales channels. Suppliers in Singapore can expect to gain access to buyers in China, while Chinese suppliers will be able to tap on Trustana’s network of buyers in Southeast Asia.

As of 22 November, over 100 selected suppliers from Singapore and China were onboarded to the Global Expansion Program at the launch ceremony. The Program follows a successful pilot led by Trustana and CCIB earlier this year, which saw five leading suppliers from Chongqing expand their reach into Southeast Asia.

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On the screen, from left to right: Mr Tan Lui Hai, Director, Chongqing Connectivity Initiative Office, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry; Mr Leong Der Yao, Assistant Chief Executive, Sectoral Transformation, IMDA; Mr Lee Yee Fung, Executive Director, Enterprise Singapore; Mr Pradyumna Agrawal, Managing Director, Investment (Blockchain), Temasek; Ms Rebecca Xing, CEO, Trustana

Ms. Rebecca Xing, CEO, Trustana, said: “Trustana is thrilled to be extending our Global Expansion Program to over 100 suppliers in Singapore and China after a successful pilot earlier this year. This demonstrates the demand and urgency for suppliers to harness opportunities present in international markets. With support from CCIB, IMDA, and ESG, we are delighted to be able to offer this program to many more SMEs, and play a role in growing their businesses.”

As part of the SMEs Go Digital programme, eligible Singapore SMEs can be supported under the Grow Digital initiative by IMDA and ESG to leverage e-commerce platforms to sell overseas without a need for physical presence. SMEs from the Food Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade sectors in Singapore can receive up to 80% grant support to defray the cost of going onboard Trustana’s platform.

CCIB is also investing in this Program for the next three years to support Chongqing suppliers selected for the Program and aid the companies in their expansion overseas.

The level of support offered will depend on the type of membership that a supplier opts for when taking part in the Program. Basic membership includes a free listing of products on Trustana’s platform, a dedicated brand page, as well as assistance with payment and fulfillment. Beyond the basic package, suppliers looking for additional value-adding services can upgrade to receive support such as assistance with navigating export regulations, market and product analysis, guidance on brand building and localization, as well as demand generation and marketing.

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Official launch of the Global Expansion Program

One of the Singapore suppliers taking part in the Program is Shilepo, a home-grown company that sells salted egg fish skin products.

Ms. Loo Lanshi, Director, Shilepo, said: “Selling overseas meant that we had to go through some unfamiliar processes, but with this Program, we are able to smoothly navigate the export and import requirements from Singapore and China respectively within two weeks. We are also able to distribute our snacks via legitimate sale channels in the China market.”

Mr. Zeng Jinghua, Director-General, CCIB said, “Following the success of the pilot, we are pleased to continue partnering with Trustana to scale up the program, allowing for more F&B suppliers to benefit and leverage cross-border opportunities. Our support and investment will fuel this growing momentum, and we believe that this is a critical step in empowering the Chongqing trade community to expand abroad.”

Mr. Leong Der Yao, Assistant Chief Executive, Sectoral Transformation, IMDA, said "Going digital is vital for SMEs to transform their businesses during the pandemic to overcome disruptions and remain globally competitive to capture new growth opportunities in overseas markets. We welcome Trustana as our Grow Digital partner, an initiative under the SMEs Go Digital programme. I encourage SMEs from the food manufacturing and wholesale trade sectors in Singapore to onboard Trustana’s platform to get a head start in going global by increasing their reach to potential customers in China and the ASEAN region."

Headquartered in Singapore, Trustana aims to democratize access to the import and export market, facilitate international participation from companies of all sizes, and support the evolution and modernization of SMEs. Within a year of launching, Trustana has aided over 5,000 F&B buyers and suppliers in building new cross-border business connections across China and Southeast Asia.

1. According to data from Euromonitor International

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