IE Singapore partners Amazon, T-mall, Lelong to help SMEs go global online

M Ghangaa: The Asia Pacific region is set to become the world's biggest market for e-commerce, with an annual growth of 20 per cent from 2011 to 2016.  PHOTO: The Asia Pacific region is set to become the world's biggest market for e-commerce, with an
M Ghangaa: The Asia Pacific region is set to become the world's biggest market for e-commerce, with an annual growth of 20 per cent from 2011 to 2016. PHOTO: The Asia Pacific region is set to become the world's biggest market for e-commerce, with an annual growth of 20 per cent from 2011 to 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - International Enterprise (IE) Singapore announced partnerships with e-commerce platforms Amazon, China's T-mall and Malaysia's Lelong to give small and medium enterprises easier access to the booming global online marketplace.

IE Singapore said Thursday the partnerships will help SMEs get online quickly by either developing their own platforms or using existing services such as Amazon and T-mall.

Assistance will also be given to companies to grow services supporting online commerce, such as digital marketing, cyber security and logistics and payment.

"e-Commerce is a strategic tool to help SMEs expand globally. Our partnerships with the three e-marketplaces will help SMEs lower barriers of entry and reduce operational costs, while accessing global markets quickly," IE Singapore chief executive Teo Eng Cheong said.

SMEs can tap IE's grant schemes - such as the Market Readiness Assistance Grant and Global Company Partnership Grant - to defray expenses for online marketing activities.

Easier access to the online marketplace will help SMEs grow their business via technology, at a time when companies at home are pressured by the small domestic market and labour constraints.

The Asia Pacific region is set to become the world's biggest market for e-commerce, with an annual growth of 20 per cent from 2011 to 2016, while Southeast Asia will lead with growth of 25 per cent annually.

The size of the Singapore online shopping market is expected to hit $4.4 billion this year from $1.1 billion in 2010, Mr Teo said in his ooening address at IE Singapore's conference on e-commerce on Thusrday.

As part of the partnership with IE Singapore, food and beverage companies in Singapore will be listed on T-mall via a Singapore Pavilion online shopfront. This will be rolled out from third quarter this year and will help over 80 companies get onto T-mall, which has a base of 400 million online customers, over the next four years.

Over 30 Singapore companies from F&B, retail and consumer electronics are in talks with Amazon for product listing, with more in the pipeline. Singapore baby product company Hegen will make its first foray into the US via this platform, while personal care company Tek Eight Laboratories and food company SunMoon are using it to complement existing distribution channels.

Through the IE-Lelong tei-up, Singapore companies can list products on Lelong at competitive prices, while enjoying waiver of set-up fees and increased marketing support. Six SMEs such as footwear retailers Star 360 and MBT will be the first to list, with 15 more in the pipeline.