$90 million to be set aside to develop industries: S Iswaran

SINGAPORE - About S$90 million will be set aside over the next five years to develop industries through the Local Enterprise and Association Development (Lead) programme, announced Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran on Tuesday (May 10).

This marks a 20 per cent increase from the S$75 million previously set aside for the programme in 2011.

The fund, managed by both International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Spring Singapore, supports Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) to undertake projects that will drive industry transformation for evolving sectorial needs.

Mr Iswaran, who was speaking at a panel discussion during the Lead Partners Dinner, said: "TACs are important partners in helping to identify and aggregate industry needs as well as co-develop scalable solutions for their members.

"The Government will continue to support TACs' industry development efforts, and provide resources to help willing TACs strengthen their capabilities so that they can play a more proactive role in driving transformation at the industry level and fostering collaboration among members."

The Lead programme will support TACs' productivity, innovation, capability-upgrading and internationalisation initiatives to drive industry development, help companies grow their businesses and develop stronger workforces.

Since 2005, the programme has supported 35 TACs in more than 180 industry-upgrading projects, totalling S$120 million in grant and benefitting over 40,000 enterprises.

Tuesday's event also saw 10 TACs being awarded close to S$10 million in funding for 11 projects to drive upgrading in the industry and build capabilities for overseas expansion.