A GROUP of Singapore business people involved in international seafood trade visited the South Coast including Narooma last week to explore the South Coast of NSW, now known as Australia’s Oyster Coast.
The tour by the government trade delegation was organised by the new Australia’s Oyster Coast (AOC) organisation, which is following up on its promise of exporting South Coast oysters overseas announced at last year’s Narooma Oyster Festival.
The government trade delegation was from IE Singapore or International Enterprise Singapore - – a Singapore government agency that's a broad equivalent to Austrade and NSW Trade & Investment in Australia.
IE Singapore is keen for AOC to establish a strong presence in Singapore, and to potentially use Singapore as a launching pad to export to other markets in Asia.
AOC executive officer Andrew Wales met with IE Singapore in Singapore and discussed potential opportunities to develop a partnership between the organisation, the Singapore government and AOC - ideally to assist the AOC with entry into Asian markets.
Leading the visitors on their Australian visit last week was the Sydney representative from IE Singapore.
“We are keen to learn more about and understand the industry,” said the director of IE Singapore in Sydney, Timothy Chua.
Singapore was ideally set up to import items such as Sydney rock oysters and then distribute them onto other countries in South East Asia and China, he said.
The visiting business people were involved in the logistics and distribution of seafood including from Changi airport.
They stopped in at oyster growing operations at Shoalhaven, the Clyde and Narooma, where they had lunch at the Quarterdeck Marina restaurant before heading off to check out the operation of grower David Maidment at the oyster sheds on Barlows Bay.
AOC executive officer Andrew Wales said Singapore was ideally set up to distribute oysters to rest of Asia with its modern, streamlined import-export operations.
South Coast oyster growers needed to ensure continuity of supply as well as consistent top quality product, while the other key was get high-end restaurants around Asia interested in serving the local oysters, he said.
“The main thing is to build relationships as we are not looking at the short term but rather at five or six years out,” he said.