Is­lands: Ire­land build­ing on suc­cess in the Sin­ga­pore area

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Sm­ruti Inam­dar

LIKE Ire­land, Sin­ga­pore has ex­pe­ri­enced dy­namic growth and the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges that ac­com­pany it. Those chal­lenges have been over­come through in­no­va­tion, help­ing Ire­land and Sin­ga­pore to be­come known as ‘in­no­va­tion is­lands’, hubs for world-class en­trepreneurs and ecosys­tems that sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of multi­na­tion­als.

Ir­ish com­pa­nies with dis­rup­tive, value-adding so­lu­tions are carv­ing out busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in Sin­ga­pore. At En­ter­prise Ire­land’s re­cent trade and in­vest­ment mis­sion to the APAC re­gion, Tá­naiste Frances Fitzger­ald got to ap­pre­ci­ate the links that Ir­ish-owned SMES have de­vel­oped first hand. Sixty En­ter­prise Ire­land client com­pa­nies par­tic­i­pated in the mis­sion across two mar­ket legs — Sin­ga­pore and Ja­pan — with the goal of se­cur­ing ex­port busi­ness in the wider Asia re­gion.

A tour of Sin­ga­pore’s tallest build­ing was in­cluded on the sec­ond day of the mis­sion, giv­ing del­e­gates a chance to ob­serve the im­pact of Ir­ish in­no­va­tion on the city. The en­ergy-ef­fi­cient tech­nol­ogy of Tan­jong Pa­gar Cen­tre tow­ers over Sin­ga­pore’s Cen­tral Busi­ness District and is pow­ered by Dublin-head­quar­tered com­pany Cy­lon Con­trols. As the de­vel­oper Guo­coland ex­plained: “The brains of this build­ing are Ir­ish.”

Op­por­tu­ni­ties in green­tech are a par­tic­u­larly good fit for the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of Ir­ish com­pa­nies. Sin­ga­pore is driv­ing an am­bi­tious en­vi­ron­men­tal agenda, with a tar­get of 80pc of build­ings to be green by 2030 (cur­rently at 33pc) and to in­crease the num­ber of green spe­cial­ists from 15,000 to 20,000 by 2020. The govern­ment is pro­vid­ing a Zero Cap­i­tal Part­ner­ship, en­abling build­ing own­ers to en­gage En­ergy Per­for­mance Con­tract­ing firms for en­ergy retrofits with zero cap­i­tal out­lay.

Ire­land’s green-build clus­ter is sup­ported by a so­phis­ti­cated net­work of com­pa­nies spe­cial­is­ing in build­ing en­ergy-man­age­ment sys­tems, green-build­ing ma­te­ri­als, HVAC, light­ing and en­ergy tech­nolo­gies, as well as green ar­chi­tec­ture and en­gi­neer­ing.

Ma­jor names in­clude Zutec and Kingspan In­su­lated Pan­els, whose Sin­ga­pore of­fice was opened by the Tá­naiste dur­ing the mis­sion. En­ter­prise Ire­land col­lab­o­rates in this space, work­ing with the Sin­ga­pore Green Build­ing Coun­cil to pro­vide new so­lu­tions that help the mar­kets to “go green to­gether”.

The aerospace and avi­a­tion sec­tor also presents op­por­tu­ni­ties for Ir­ish com­pa­nies con­sid­er­ing Sin­ga­pore. Over the next 20 years, Asia-pa­cific will have the great­est de­mand for air­craft.

Ire­land is viewed as a global cen­tre of ex­cel­lence for avi­a­tion, with a proud his­tory of pi­o­neer­ing de­vel­op­ments and dy­namic in­no­va­tion. Ir­ish com­pa­nies in­clud­ing CAE, Eirtech Avi­a­tion and Aero In­spec­tion are lead­ing the way, se­cur­ing avi­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in the wider APAC re­gion from bases in Sin­ga­pore. To cap­i­talise on op­por­tu­ni­ties in the sec­tor, En­ter­prise Ire­land will par­tic­i­pate along­side clients in the Avi­a­tion Fes­ti­val Asia in Sin­ga­pore in Fe­bru­ary 2018.

There are good rea­sons for Ir­ish busi­ness to look to the Asia-pa­cific re­gion. It has de­liv­ered an im­pres­sive 16pc year-on-year gain, mak­ing it the sec­ond-fastest grow­ing re­gion for En­ter­prise Ire­land clients in 2016. Ex­ports from Ir­ish com­pa­nies to Sin­ga­pore and the wider ASEAN re­gion are grow­ing steadily.

The trade mis­sion raised the pro­file of Ire­land as a key sup­ply base of­fer­ing high-value so­lu­tions and cre­ated a num­ber of part­ner­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties be­tween Ir­ish and Sin­ga­porean com­pa­nies through­out the ASEAN re­gion. The ASEAN of­fice based in Sin­ga­pore will ex­pand re­sources over the com­ing months to fur­ther sup­port Ir­ish clients in their growth as they diver­sify through the re­gion.

Ire­land and Sin­ga­pore work well to­gether be­cause of what we have in com­mon, a his­tory of eco­nomic growth based on a trad­ing per­spec­tive, in­vest­ment in ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, sup­port for in­no­va­tion and R&D, and an abil­ity to suc­ceed in the global mar­ket­place.

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