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Impact of design on Singapore’s economy is valued at
Singapore is known for its culinary prowess with bars like Atlas, and Jigger and Pony, as well as restaurants like Odette, Les Amis and Burnt Ends13 , rated amongst the world’s top14. In the retail world, the Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF) supports local labels, with success stories from Martha Who and Kanzi Collection. TaFF also regularly holds events on topics like analytics, design thinking, sustainability and merchandising to help fashion retail businesses scale15. Online stores complemented existing physical stores are user-centric and equipped with real-time inventories to reach larger international audiences.
With the launch of the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) for both the retail and food services industry, Singapore is set to become an important hub for F&B and retail players.
Business opportunities abound, especially as both sectors ramp up innovation and digital efforts to increase cost savings and engage with their customers. For example:
Singapore’s commitment to produce 30 percent of its nutritional needs locally by 2030, and the set up a $60 million agri-food cluster transformation fund24 make the country an ideal location for business events in this arena.
Locally, the sector is growing rapidly with the development of salt-tolerant tilapia, climate-proof vegetables25, and Temasek Rice, Singapore’s first home-grown rice capable of withstanding floods26.
In the realm of alternative proteins, biotech company, TurtleTree Labs, is pioneering the production of milk using cell-based technology27, and Shiok Meats is developing a method to grow seafood and meat from cells instead of animals28.
Global players have also been drawn to Singapore. This includes:
These businesses, along with accelerators like GROW, Hatch Blue, Trendlines and The Yield Lab32, make Singapore an ideal location to connect with both existing and rising agri-food players.
Furniture design and urban planning have helped Singapore make its mark at global festivals like the Venice Biennale of Architecture and Milan Design Week33.
Award-winning international architects have also worked on various projects in the country. This includes Learning Hub by Thomas Heatherwick34, the Interlace and DUO by Ole Scheeren35 and Jewel Changi Airport by Moshe Safdie36.
With the sheer number of green buildings like Gardens by the Bay and Park Royal on Pickering37, Singapore has incorporated sustainable practices with ambitious design.
Efforts to raise our design profile continue with areas like Design Orchard, an integrated retail and incubation space that aims to groom new and emerging designers in the lifestyle and fashion sector38, and the launch of the Singapore Good Design (SG Mark) to benchmark good design and quality39.
Testament to our growing profile, Singapore is home to Tupperware Brands' Global Design Centre for Asia40, Asia’s first Porsche Design Studio41 and Proctor & Gamble’s (P&G) Singapore Innovation Centre — an international innovation hub for P&G’s global hair care, skin care, home care, and personal health and grooming products42, just to name a few.
These examples help cement Singapore’s reputation as a leader in the design sphere, making the country a natural choice for events in architecture, fashion and more.
There is also potential for conferences and exhibitions revolving around design thinking. Interest is rising in this area as the Singapore government leads the way in using design thinking to develop digital parking and programmes for people with disabilities43. Businesses have also come on board with Dsg’s Business Value of Design programme, an initiative that encourages companies to leverage on design thinking to improve their bottom lines44.
The creativity and resilience demonstrated by Singapore’s travel players has given rise to multiple smarter ways to travel, and in turn a myriad of case studies and experts that event organisers can tap on.
Testament to Singapore’s credibility in developing media and digital content, companies like Lucasfilm, Tecmo-Koei, Bandai Namco, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft— whose Singapore studio has played a part in the globally acclaimed Assassin’s Creed franchise— are now based in the country.
eSports is growing rapidly with support of organisations like EMERGE Esports, dedicated to groom eSports athletes and other professionals52. Singapore is home to eSports champions like Daryl Koh, Ho Kun Xian and Jeng Yih Wong, and has hosted both the US$300,000 M2 World Championship53 and the Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore (FFWS 2021 SG)54.
In the media realm, Singapore is recognised for films by directors Eric Khoo (“12 stories”) and Anthony Chen (“Ilo Ilo”) and for being the film location for movies such as “Crazy Rich Asians”, “Hitman: Agent 47” and “Equal”. More is to be expected with IMDA’s partnerships with global players like Tencent and Viacom to develop “made in Singapore” content55.
The country is also known for hosting the annual Singapore Media Festival, which brings together events like the Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore, Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), and in 2020, the digital version of VidCon Asia, called VidCon Now.
Together, this means that organisers will find both the talent, expertise and infrastructure needed to make their events successful.
Singapore’s annual summit explores the latest innovations and market opportunities across Asia’s agri-food supply chain.
Southeast Asia’s largest food and hospitality trade event, FHA is a launchpad for new-to-market innovations and a platform for international suppliers to network and harness opportunities in Asia. The inaugural FHA-HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurant & Café) in 2022 will showcase an extensive line-up of products and smart technologies in areas including but not limited to bakery, food service and hospitality equipment.
A platform for SEA game developers to explore partnerships and connect to international publishers.
A trade show for leading travel companies, SMEs and international buyers from the MICE, leisure, corporate travel and tech travel markets.
As one of Asia’s premier design festivals, SDW is a design thought-leadership event, open to the public, where the worlds of design, business and public policy intersect.
A three-week long festival focused on Asian storytelling and the “made in Singapore” ethos.
The leading trade event for the duty-free and travel retail industry in APAC. A chance to find out about the latest research, brand news, trade advice, and to network.
An exclusive, invitation-only, luxury travel event catered to the top travel agents and businesses across the Asia Pacific region.
Asia's leading digital travel media & events platform with content focused on how technology impacts the future of travel.