More sustainability and innovation opportunities for S’pore companies entering the German market

SINGAPORE — Local manufacturer Armstrong Industrial Corporation is helping German giants such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW cater to customers in Asia with its 16 factories in the region making auto parts and other items, including eight in Asia alone. China.

Group chief executive Phyllis Ong told the Straits Times that the company, which employs around 3,000 people across Asia, is keen to tap into the growing market of European companies looking for local partners to reduce their operational risks. In the region.

Armstrong is among local businesses that could benefit from a new Germany-Singapore framework for sustainability and innovation that was signed on Sunday by Singapore’s Minister for Trade Relations S. Iswaran and Dr. Robert Habeck, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

The framework will structure and deepen economic collaborations between governments and businesses in both countries, and foster private sector-led collaborations in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, mobility and green technologies.

It will also facilitate cooperation in areas such as business matchmaking, networking and workplace training, the trade and industry ministry said.

Armstrong hopes the framework will help it create the sustainable innovation that is a key part of its ambitions as its customers increasingly want green materials in manufacturing processes. For example, the company is already using lightweight foam to make parts that help cars use less fuel, Ms Ong said.

But green materials make up a very small fraction of its manufacturing, and the company is exploring sustainable alternatives such as expanded polypropylene, a recyclable foam, she added.

“Becoming 100% green isn’t sustainable, but we can take steps to become a more energy-efficient and responsible organization,” she said.

Signing the framework on the sidelines of the biennial Asia-Pacific German Business Conference, Iswaran said like-minded partners must continue to signal their commitment to greater economic integration amid diverse headwinds in the global economy.

“When you look at Southeast Asia and the growth that we expect, we will need solutions that will reduce energy intensity and carbon intensity. This means working with partners like Germany, for example, in the hydrogen economy, which Germany is already pursuing,” he told reporters.

Mr. Iswaran added that Germany’s flagship Asia-Pacific business conference, which was held in person for the first time in four years, gave new impetus to collaborations.

For example, Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) and NRW.Global Business, the trade and investment agency of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, will develop a joint work plan for business cooperation in sectors such as renewable energies and information and communication technologies.

“We welcome Germany’s keen interest in expanding trade and investment with Singapore as a gateway to the region,” said Iswaran, who is also transport minister.

The 17th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business was co-hosted by the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business, the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the Singapore-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce , with support from various Singapore government agencies.

Over 600 participants attended this year’s conference.

James R. Rhodes