USA Pavilion Sees Strong Showing From SMEs

Officials opening the USA Pavilion Partnership at Singapore Airshow

As with all aspects of Singapore Airshow 2020, the USA Partnership Pavilion has been affected by concerns over the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

“Mother Nature threw us a curveball and sent many of our colleagues back to the dugout,” Tom Kallman, president and CEO of pavilion organizers Kallman Worldwide, said when opening the pavilion yesterday morning.

But the U.S. presence is still significant – Kallman noted that the pavilion is still the largest of any nation’s at the show, with some 87 firms represented. And its importance to both American businesses and their current and potential future Asia-Pacific regional customers may in fact be increased. This is particularly the case for smaller businesses, which in general have opted to go ahead with their plans to exhibit, while many larger firms have pulled out. 

“I’m surprised that some of the larger companies did not engage their local staffs to be here,” Kallman told Aviation Week. “Some did, but some did not. Every corporation has different reasoning for what they have to do, but at the center of it all is the safety of their personnel. 

“This region has dealt with this for a while,” he continues, alluding to previous experience with SARS, “so Singapore’s probably a lot more organized and disciplined. Coming here, in some regards, could be an upgrade in terms of safety.”
For those who haven’t canceled, Kallman suggests the upside could be considerable. 

“No one can debate or refute the commitment that the larger corporations have,” he says. “But the first thing [a customer] asks or analyzes about a partner is, ‘Are you serious?’ The companies that are here, well, A, they got on an airplane and flew halfway round the world, and B, they stayed, or they came, in the light of [the virus]. 

“I think regional buyers will look favorably on that.” 

Angus Batey

Angus Batey has been contributing to various titles within the Aviation Week Network since 2009, reporting on topics ranging from defense and space to business aviation, advanced air mobility and cybersecurity.