On July 13, Singapore International Ferrous Metal Week (SIFW), jointly organized by the Singapore Exchange, Singapore Enterprise Development Board, and China Diangang, officially opened on July 13. Singapore’s Minister of Manpower and Second Minister of Trade and Industry Chen Shilong said in his speech that Singapore’s position as a resilient offshore trading center for ferrous metals and steel industries should be consolidated.
This is one of the three proposals put forward by Chen Shilong to allow Singapore’s ferrous metal industry to develop and grow in the new business environment under the influence of the new crown epidemic. The other two recommendations are to accelerate digital transformation and gain greater competitive advantage through innovation.
Chen Shilong pointed out that the business interruption caused by the epidemic has weakened the global market’s demand for steel and other raw materials, and has fundamentally changed the way companies in the industry operate. Companies, including commodity trading companies, must quickly adapt to this new business environment. He predicted that the recovery after the epidemic will be long-term, and the recovery process of various regions and industries will be highly uneven. The accelerated structural transformation of the epidemic has also brought countless challenges to the commodity industry.
Therefore, Chen Shilong suggested that, first of all, Singapore’s ferrous metals industry should improve its industry risk management capabilities, and pay particular attention to dealing with market fluctuation risks and supply chain risks. He said that although Singapore has formed a competitive advantage through a strong rule of law, a favorable business environment, a highly mobile financial industry and a highly skilled workforce, the country’s ferrous metal industry must still work hard to maintain Singapore’s position. These efforts include increasing the transparency of Singapore’s trade finance and making the banking industry more confident in maintaining commodity-based financing.
Second, the Singapore ferrous metal industry should embrace the opportunities brought by digitalization. Chen Shilong said that Rio Tinto’s business services and digital team in Singapore launched iron ore spot trading on WeChat last year. Customers can easily buy iron ore directly from Chinese ports, and every transaction is recorded on their mobile phones. This is the possibility that digitization can unlock.
Third, Singapore’s ferrous metal industry companies must continue to innovate, change their business methods, and create new competitive advantages. He said that Singapore has a vibrant ecosystem that facilitates corporate innovation.
Singapore International Ferrous Week is the annual global flagship event of the ferrous metal supply chain. This year’s event was held from July 13th to 15th through an online forum. As the flagship event of Singapore International Ferrous Metal Week, the Singapore Iron Ore Forum hosted by SGX also opened on the 13th.
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(Source: Xinhua Finance-Singapore/Reporter-Li Xiaoyu)