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Business Opportunity in Singapore

Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
willkcwoo
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Business Opportunity in Singapore

Postby willkcwoo » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 1:44 pm

Good day everyone.
I have been in Singapore for about 6 months now (actually travelling between Penang-Singapore) and am a holder of dependent pass. I have been doing some checking and surveying in the market and I am looking for opportunity to work with wholesaler or distributor on some business venture like handmade handicraft, embiodery bags, souvenirs, 100% hand paint - oil painting art.
I am quite lost because I really do not know how to go about it and despite going out and talk to some potential (my opinion) customer, yet I could not get anything. I think mainly because I am new or unknown in these new market and the business culture here maybe different than in Malaysia.
I welcome help and ideas for possible JV and working together and all suggestions are highly appreciated.
Thank you for reading this note and looking forward to meet up with u all.
Cherrio. :lol:

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 9:53 pm

Hand made in which Country? Dependant pass holder! You had better be very careful, of doing any business at all, unless you want your bottom smacked! :wink: (literally)Do not get caught in Singapore breaking laws, they like to set examples. Believe me you are being watched by your competitors, so take some good advice to ensure you stay within the boundaries of the law...there are no second chances and ignorance is not bliss!
Last edited by ksl on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 10:04 pm

ksl wrote:Hand made in which Country? Dependant pass holder! You had better be very careful, of doing any business at all, unless you want your bottom smacked! :wink: (literally)Do not get caught in Singapore breaking laws, they like to set examples. And believe me you are being watched by your competitors, so take some good advice!


Now, now KSL... as a dependent pass holder he is entitled to register and start a business or company in Singapore, then file for a letter of consent to work in that business or company. His DP is still dependent upon the EP that got it but it is completely legal to start his/her own business.

As to the OP, it sounds like you want to start an export/import business but have no idea about importing, finding customers, or finding suppliers... not a good place to start unless you are willing to do a lot of research.

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 10:22 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
ksl wrote:Hand made in which Country? Dependant pass holder! You had better be very careful, of doing any business at all, unless you want your bottom smacked! :wink: (literally)Do not get caught in Singapore breaking laws, they like to set examples. And believe me you are being watched by your competitors, so take some good advice!


Now, now KSL... as a dependent pass holder he is entitled to register and start a business or company in Singapore, then file for a letter of consent to work in that business or company. His DP is still dependent upon the EP that got it but it is completely legal to start his/her own business.

As to the OP, it sounds like you want to start an export/import business but have no idea about importing, finding customers, or finding suppliers... not a good place to start unless you are willing to do a lot of research.

This is also quite true SE, and they have up to 6 months to register, my point was to ensure that they do understand what they are doing, simply because We have also been reported more than once, because Competitors are nasty little beggars, and if you haven't covered your arse, you will get shafted, as an importer you must know the laws relating to technical hindrances, like what you can or cannot import, before you actually import, not after so yes a lot of work is involved.

And believe it or not Singapore is self regulating in the sense they very rarely check on your goods until someone complains, normally it is the anonymouse person, the skunk in the shadows that hopes to gain something by reporting. Not so much in your industry, but when it's to do with retail, the locals are over enthusiastic, because they lack business skills in most cases and are trying to make a living.

The media yesterday also brought it to the publics attention down in Chinatown and other tourist areas. For example shop owners put up signs no photography, because they fear the competitors, not the tourist, although how does one distinguish. Not only that, if the shop as its goods outside and on public property, they cannot forbid photography.

Although try telling the local that :P Import is very strict, but it is the importer that stands the wrath of the law, you cannot just turn around and say well everyone here in Singapore is doing the same, because that is just ignorance of the laws, and it doesn't wash if someone complains unless you are covered.

Just my 2 cents! I mean I could have a field day here in Singapore if i wanted, with goods not showing the importers name and address, it's illegal and part of the labeling regulations!

The majority of course have no idea and just want to survive, a marketing strategy is normally for the more serious, but the law is the law, it doesn't know the difference between the two. So it's very important for these people that are new to importing, to understand the risks they are taking, if it's not done correctly and it is quite clear if the home work is done. Like you say they do have a time limit.

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Postby willkcwoo » Mon, 15 Jun 2009 10:55 pm

TQ for the advice and comment SE and ksl. I know it is not easy to do business in Singapore and there maybe lots of technicalities and challenges that is needed to be complied. However, I do hope this forum will be able to shed some light of how to go about making it a possibility to start a business in Singapore.
I am just doing enquiry and networking on the things that I am doing just to see how are the feedback before I start it. Currently I am doing it in Malaysia-in small quantities and it has been quite encouraging, thus I was thinking along the same line. Seriously I would not want to be against the law, no way :shock: cos I do not want to be 'smacked' or get a kick on my butt just because of my ignorance.
I m jus looking for opportunity to fill up my time when I am in Singapore as I normally spend about 2 weeks in Singapore and the rest of the time in Malaysia.

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Postby jfc81 » Sat, 27 Jun 2009 5:48 pm

We have some things in common. Were both trying to do import/export in Singapore without much experience. Except, Im American and will be coming to sg this week for the first time. Im also particularly interested in handicrafts and other things for export, mainly to the US, but also the middle east/gulf where I have experience. Let me know how its working out for you.

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Postby ksl » Sun, 28 Jun 2009 1:04 pm

jfc81 wrote:We have some things in common. Were both trying to do import/export in Singapore without much experience. Except, Im American and will be coming to sg this week for the first time. Im also particularly interested in handicrafts and other things for export, mainly to the US, but also the middle east/gulf where I have experience. Let me know how its working out for you.


I suggest you consider the recession to see how the handicraft business has suffered. Middle East I am also interested in, when you arrive in Singapore let me know.

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Postby jfc81 » Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:04 pm

ksl wrote:
jfc81 wrote:We have some things in common. Were both trying to do import/export in Singapore without much experience. Except, Im American and will be coming to sg this week for the first time. Im also particularly interested in handicrafts and other things for export, mainly to the US, but also the middle east/gulf where I have experience. Let me know how its working out for you.


I suggest you consider the recession to see how the handicraft business has suffered. Middle East I am also interested in, when you arrive in Singapore let me know.


True, the trade has suffered, which means it will take a creative, hardworking person (like me) to make a go of it :lol:. Incidentally, how is the drinking vinegar business doing these days? In response to your question, I will be arriving on 6 July. From your posts you seem to be an old Singapore hand and consequently a real fount of wisdom. have you ever had any experience with import export with the Mideast? If youd like to give me your contact info I could also send you some suggestions for the vinegar blog in your sig (assuming its yours) related to spelling, capitalization, and puncuation.

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Postby ksl » Mon, 29 Jun 2009 1:44 pm

jfc81 wrote:
ksl wrote:
jfc81 wrote:We have some things in common. Were both trying to do import/export in Singapore without much experience. Except, Im American and will be coming to sg this week for the first time. Im also particularly interested in handicrafts and other things for export, mainly to the US, but also the middle east/gulf where I have experience. Let me know how its working out for you.


I suggest you consider the recession to see how the handicraft business has suffered. Middle East I am also interested in, when you arrive in Singapore let me know.


True, the trade has suffered, which means it will take a creative, hardworking person (like me) to make a go of it :lol:. Incidentally, how is the drinking vinegar business doing these days? In response to your question, I will be arriving on 6 July. From your posts you seem to be an old Singapore hand and consequently a real fount of wisdom. have you ever had any experience with import export with the Mideast? If youd like to give me your contact info I could also send you some suggestions for the vinegar blog in your sig (assuming its yours) related to spelling, capitalization, and puncuation.


jfc81 : If youd like to give me your contact info I could also send you some suggestions for the vinegar blog in your sig (assuming its yours) related to spelling, capitalization, and puncuation


I don't mean to be sarcastic but are you kidding me, just read your own words above and correct your own mistakes before making any suggestions, no doubt the vinegar blog will be updated eventually, it's long out of date and has never been checked for errors, although I have spotted several myself, but it's not worth doing if a new site is being developed, thanks all the same.

I know the Middle East very well having lived out there and have many connections, yes i have the experience of import & export out there.

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Postby jfc81 » Tue, 30 Jun 2009 12:03 pm

ksl wrote:
I know the Middle East very well having lived out there and have many connections, yes i have the experience of import & export out there.


Very interesting. I have a long standing interest in the region and have also lived there (egypt, kuwait for year and a half) and have a BA in Middle East Studies-Arabic. I wonder if there is any way to offer these services to a company doing business between Malaysia/Singapore and the Gulf, for example. I am aware of substantial cultural and trade links, but I have no experience in import/export and want to learn.

I didnt mean any offense about the vinegar blog. You are obviously fluent and well-spoken in English. And I really was serious when inquiring about how the drinking vinegar business is. Have you considered saying something on the blog like how good it tastes, so as to counteract peoples' sure-to-be-automatic revulsion to the idea? Vinegar tastes BAD, at least in my experience.

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Postby ksl » Tue, 30 Jun 2009 5:10 pm

jfc81 wrote:
ksl wrote:
I know the Middle East very well having lived out there and have many connections, yes i have the experience of import & export out there.


Very interesting. I have a long standing interest in the region and have also lived there (egypt, kuwait for year and a half) and have a BA in Middle East Studies-Arabic. I wonder if there is any way to offer these services to a company doing business between Malaysia/Singapore and the Gulf, for example. I am aware of substantial cultural and trade links, but I have no experience in import/export and want to learn.

I didn't mean any offense about the vinegar blog. You are obviously fluent and well-spoken in English. And I really was serious when inquiring about how the drinking vinegar business is. Have you considered saying something on the blog like how good it tastes, so as to counteract peoples' sure-to-be-automatic revulsion to the idea? Vinegar tastes BAD, at least in my experience.


Vinegar drinking for health was established hundreds of years ago, and today there are markets well established in almost every country in the world, although these markets are traditional vinegar drinking like apple cider vinegar, mixed with water and honey. These vinegars taste like vinegars!

Agricultural chemistry and biotechnology, have advanced a great deal, where traditional vinegar makers cannot compete in the development of health beverages. so no need to tell anyone that it tastes nice, becuase the established vinegar consumers will want to taste it for themselves.

What i mean is that if a market already exists for vinegar, it makes sense to take that market share first and it's easier to penetrate the market as a whole, with a superior product, being more functional and tasty, the word by mouth is more appropriate, becuase it is about education.

Dubai is very health conscious along with many other places in the middle east, and the most popular was apple vinegar, bueberry and fig. However these are not drinking vinegars, although people take them for their health benefits, mixed with water, unfortuantely these taste of vinegar. and are made for foods rather than beverages.

Education about acids, is the main problem, for those that believe that acids are not good for you.

Your time in the middle east may bare fruit, however if you have no experience in import or export, you haven't much to offer. My suggestion is if you are looking for that kind of experience, you should move to the Middle East and import a drinking vinegar, to be the fist to do it under guidance, will give you all the practical experience you need. Under guidance may ensure you avoid the pitfalls of dealing with the Middle East.

For a Company here in Singapore/Malaysia to take you on without other skills in business, would be highly unlikely, in this economic climate. Although if you have been dealing with handicraft or other import/export business, you should have a basic idea, of what is involved so you should consider being your own boss.

When doing any type of import & export business, you need be able to distribute through a sales channel and support that sales channel, through promotional effort, so the sales channel wins, and you win too.

You cannot rely on the sales channel alone to sell for you, they will not and if your product doesn't sell, they will delist your product, it's that simple. So are you outsourcing products or looking for employment?

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Postby jpatokal » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 10:51 am

ksl wrote:Dubai is very health conscious along with many other places in the middle east

:???:

Ever been there? "Health conscious" Arab style is driving your SUV out to the Burger King and using the drive-in, because you might get a heart attack if you attempted to waddle your 200-kg carcass across the parking lot in the midsummer heat.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

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Postby ksl » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 2:32 pm

jpatokal wrote:
ksl wrote:Dubai is very health conscious along with many other places in the middle east

:???:

Ever been there? "Health conscious" Arab style is driving your SUV out to the Burger King and using the drive-in, because you might get a heart attack if you attempted to waddle your 200-kg carcass across the parking lot in the midsummer heat.
Yes I lived in Sharjah, years ago, and your comments are well founded too, that's why i say, the health industry is really blooming in Dubai, so much that lot's of them come here to Singapore looking for new products on a regular basis. First and foremost health is about education

You could also say obesity is a world wide problem, if you do your research, health industry is holding its own, throughout the recession, and household expenditure on health products is increasing world wide. There is a very good world wide market for health education, especially if you are a Burger King client :lol:

I always say if you want to eat that crappy food, drink vinegar, at least you will get the amino acids, that may balance the diet and help break down the fats! It's very true what SMS says about a balanced diet and if you do not have a balanced diet, your health will suffer. :wink: Those that have the knowledge and experience can actually help others, to understand the mechanisms, to a healthy life style, and that's in demand world wide just now.

This is just in about the US

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8129184.stm


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