Singapore prefers farming ‘resource-efficient’ food items over poultry due to constraints: Grace Fu

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ACCREDITATION OF OTHER COUNTRIES

Ms Fu said that Singapore does not have any significant import fees that will hinder the establishment of new markets.

Countries like Thailand and Australia are accredited for the importation of live and chilled chicken, but 99 per cent of the market is taken by Malaysia, she said. 

Despite Singapore accrediting other countries, importers continue to work with Malaysia because of proximity and a long history together, she said. 

“There will always be a cost competitive reason for importers to gravitate to the source market,” she added. 

Sometimes this is because of proximity and established logistics chains that allow goods to arrive most quickly, she said. 

“They (importers) will be reluctant to try new areas that may increase the costs. They may be reluctant to try new products because it’s not familiar to the consumers,” she said. 

“So from time to time, we have to evaluate the need for licensing condition. We have done so for eggs and we will think about whether it’s necessary for chicken as well.”

She cautioned however that the more conditions the country impose on licences and business regulations, the more rigidity they will introduce. 

“We may have to do it because it is a trade-off to to encourage businesses or to require businesses to diversify,” she said. 

“If we find that there’s a strategic reason for us to do so, we will do so.” 

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