IE Singapore to offer more overseas workshops to SMEs

SINGAPORE - IE Singapore has tied up with two new partners to organise more in-market workshops for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), focusing on Southeast Asia, especially Myanmar, Cambodia and Indonesia.

The new partners are Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Human Capital Singapore, joining current partners Singapore Business Federation and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

These three to five-day workshops give insights on local laws and regulations, company registration processes, financing and manpower regulations.

The programmes also include sessions to interact with and learn from fellow Singapore businesses already in the market, and networking opportunities with potential local business partners.

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Ngee Ann Polytechnic has already helped to organise a workshop in Myanmar in April, which Mr Kevin Lee, the managing consultant at Light Bulb Advisory, found useful.

"The direct interaction with Myanmar business owners made us realise three key things - one, they were eager to grow their businesses but lacked the know-how. Two, there is a shortage of professional talent in Myanmar. And three, they see value in the Singapore brand name and the quality of our services," he said.

"We are in dialogue with our local partners and business owners on how we can provide business advice in areas such as cash flow management and cost savings from optimising capital structure."

Previous workshops have already reaped business successes, IE noted.

A construction and housing workshop to Ghana and Ivory Coast, conducted last year, helped local manufacturer Archicom get a leg up in setting up an office in Ivory Coast and forming a joint venture with an Ivorian company.

With more new partners on board, IE plans to expand the workshop offerings and reach out to more SMEs, aiming to triple the number of participants to 350 in 2017, from 122 last year.

In line with Southeast Asia's urban development, growth in consumer demand and the rise of e-commerce, the workshops will focus on infrastructure in Myanmar, manufacturing in Vietnam, retail in Indonesia.

Others include the Internet of Things and e-commerce in China.

These sector-specific workshops will focus on key areas such as preparation for government and private tenders for infrastructure projects, sourcing and securing land and space for production.