Case study - How to export to Singapore

Flexitallic steps up Singapore presence after a decade of trade

International sealing products manufacturer, Flexitallic, is increasing its presence and expertise in the South East Asia market following more than a decade of trading with Singapore. 

The company, which has its UK base in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, is deploying one of its rising stars, applications engineer Paul Welsford (pictured), to Singapore where, as regional sales manager, he will further develop the company’s operations and capitalise on the opportunities to share best practice and skills with local industry. 

For more than a decade Flexitallic has been exporting to Singapore through a relationship with an in-country distributor.  This has helped the company establish itself in the market and enabled the distributor to provide its customers with high-quality, well-manufactured UK products. 

Flexitallic marketing director, Alex Lattimer, says: “Companies often target Singapore as a springboard to the wider South East Asia market.  This is due to the attractive trading conditions which makes the location an ideal hub for exports. 

“As Flexitallic exports directly to a number of the countries in the region, the attraction of Singapore was, and remains, very much its own growing industrial market.”    

Alex adds: “The oil industry comprises five percent of Singapore’s GDP and is one of the top three export refining centres in the world.  It also has a thriving chemical sector, which makes it an ideal target for our business. 

“Also, Singapore is at the heart of supporting the region’s growing middle class, which creates a greater demand for products and materials delivered by industry.  Therefore, in the case of Flexitallic, the creation of more plants and pipelines will increase the requirement for our gaskets.” 

Singapore’s attractive industrial and financial landscape provides the ideal location to base a regional sales manager for South East Asia.  In addition to building direct relationships with end users, Paul Welsford will deliver specialist flange integrity training under the banner of Flexitallic’s Academy of Joint Integrity.

Alex Lattimer says: “We’ve had several enquiries through the Academy for training in Singapore and, by basing Paul in the region, we will be able to capitalise on those opportunities” 

The Academy of Joint Integrity provides accredited, bespoke practical training to engineers and technicians covering all areas of joint integrity.  The programmes are designed to increase competencies to ensure pipeline integrity and reinforce Flexitallic’s commitment to safety and improving industry-wide standards. 

Singapore is just one of multiple international markets serviced by Flexitallic and demonstrates the success of exporting UK manufactured-products. 

“I’d encourage any company with a high-quality product to consider exporting to Singapore,” says Alex.  

“It is important to get to know the market first and discover the potential for your product.  A great place to start is utilising resources such as Chamber International, UK Trade and Investment and other industry trade bodies, which lead company visits to the region.  Also, talk with other companies that have already established operations in Singapore. Their advice will be invaluable.”