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SingEx Venues to continue operating Singapore Expo

SingEx Venues has beaten two other contenders to continue operating the Singapore Expo Convention & Exhibition Centre for up to 10 years, starting next year.

The announcement by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) comes after a long-awaited tender that was initiated last December.

SingEx, the incumbent operator whose 20-year management contract was due to expire at the end of this year, had put in a $50 million proposal for the tender.

The tender, which closed on Feb 14, drew a $60 million joint submission from Singapore Press Holdings' wholly owned events arm Sphere Exhibits and concert organiser UnUsUaL Development. Futuristic Store Fixtures, a unit of Singapore entrepreneur Ron Sim's V3 Group, also threw its hat into the ring with a $60 million bid.

Singapore Expo is the largest exhibition venue here with 108,000 sq m of indoor space. It opened in 1999 as a space for mega trade shows, but observers have noted that it has since come up against competition from venues in China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Key considerations for the tender include the operator's track record and ability to market the Singapore Expo as a leading international meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (Mice) venue.

STB said SingEx's proposal demonstrated a strong understanding of the Mice industry here, and outlined a comprehensive plan to grow the segment in relation to the Singapore Expo.

Mr Chew Tiong Heng, STB's executive director of infrastructure planning and management, noted that every year, Singapore Expo hosts about 600 events, which are attended by an average of six million people. "Business events are integral to our tourism industry."

SingEx Holdings chief executive officer Aloysius Arlando said the firm is "honoured to be entrusted with the continued responsibility" of managing the Singapore Expo.

"We are confident of delivering what we have committed for the next decade," he added. SingEx Holdings, the parent of SingEx Venues, is owned by Temasek.