Entrepreneurs and SMEs to assume greater importance in S'pore's economy: Iswaran

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said that entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are set to play an even more important role in Singapore's future economy.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said that entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are set to play an even more important role in Singapore's future economy. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Singapore's entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are set to play an even more important role in Singapore's future economy, said Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran.

"Singapore's economy is now poised at an important juncture. No matter which sector or industry, our future competitiveness and growth rests critically on innovation and productivity," said Mr Iswaran, speaking at the annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award on Wednesday. "Our entrepreneurs and SMEs are at the frontline of this effort."

He noted that SMEs, being small and nimble, are able to discern and carve out niche opportunities for themselves.

"They have developed deep capabilities in order to serve the growing needs in their chosen markets and of their multi-national partners. These capabilities also make our SMEs an important driver of innovation, to introduce new products, services or business models and catalyse industry transformation."

Mr Iswaran added: "As our SMEs grow in scale and internationalise, some will become the next generation of regional and global champions from Singapore. And, as Singapore faces growing competition for ideas, capital and talent, the role of SMEs in our economy will assume even greater importance."

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award, organised by the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (Asme) and Rotary Club of Singapore, is one of Singapore's most esteemed and established business accolades for local entrepreneurs.

At the event, four local entrepreneurs were named overall winners of The Entrepreneur of the Year Award: - Mr Von Lee Yong Miang, 46, executive chairman of Expand Construction, was the Overall Winner of the Established Entrepreneur Category.

- Mr Ven Chin, 36, founder and executive director of GD Group, was Overall Winner of the New Entrepreneur Category.

- Ms Tay Zhen Ni Jenny, 30, and Mr Cheng Ting Kuang Darren, 31, of Direct Funeral Services were also Overall Winners of the New Entrepreneur Category.

Asme president Kurt Wee said: "The entrepreneurs are passionate for what they do and they are strongly motivated to achieve entrepreneurial success. This is the burning spirit of enterprise that Singapore needs to fuel and strengthen our economy."