Singaporean film extruder and bag maker Golden Swan Industries & Trading Pte. Ltd. has set up its second plant there, for making cast film, in part to take advantage of export opportunities with Singapore's many tariff-free trade agreements.
Golden Swan invested more than S$5 million (US$3.6 million) in the new, 124,000-square-foot plant and a five-layer cast stretch film line, which opened in late 2007, said Managing Director Harry Samudera. The company operates another facility in Singapore, with 13 blown film extrusion lines.
Samudera said the regional market for the company's PE and vinyl films is oversupplied, but he said Golden Swan is investing because customers are increasingly requiring better-quality cast film, rather than blown film. He believes the new line is Singapore's only cast film line.
Samudera also said the company hopes to take advantage of Singapore's free-trade or low-tariff status with Asian markets like Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea.
He said it is more expensive to locate a manufacturing operation in Singapore than Malaysia and other neighboring countries, and some industry colleagues have questioned why he did not put the new plant in a lower-cost country.
But Samudera said he believes the company can operate efficiently and come out ahead, because competitors in other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Indonesia pay higher tariffs when they export and face increased trade tensions with plastic bag and other film products exported to the U.S. and Europe, he said.
Golden Swan also exports to Eastern Europe and Israel, and wants to begin exporting to North America, he said.
The company employs about 40 in its two factories and does about S$30 million (US$21.9 million) in annual sales.