“The golden age of globalization that we experienced in the last 30 years since the end of the Cold War has ended clearly and we are entering a new era, a new era that will be marked by greater geopolitical contestation,“ said Singapore’s Deputy Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong at the Forbes Global CEO Conference September 26. Jay Townley at Human Powered Solutions explores what this may mean for the bicycle industry…
Singapore has been an important manufacturing location in Asia for Shimano bicycle components, who established Shimano Singapore Pte. Ltd. in 1973, and a sales office for all of Asia in 1996.
The opinion of Singapore’s Deputy Minister for Finance was taken very seriously by the attendees at the CEO Conference and the members of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations of ten states including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, half of which have become source countries for bicycles as brands moved sourcing from China starting just before the pandemic.
Deputy Minister Wong’s statement kept coming back to me since I first read it. The company I worked for, Schwinn, had reached out to the global supply chain during the Bike Boom from 1971 to 1974 to import up to 250,000 lightweight Schwinn-Approved bicycles from Japan to supplement the one million bicycles it produced in the U.S.
After the bike boom and during the shakeout from 1975 to 1980 Schwinn found itself into a financial situation that resulted in totally shutting down domestic production […]