Small firms 'should introduce corporate governance practices': Teo Ser Luck

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck said on Thursday that having some elements of corporate governance would help steer smaller firms in the right direction. -- BT FILE PHOTO: ARTHUR LEE CH 
Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck said on Thursday that having some elements of corporate governance would help steer smaller firms in the right direction. -- BT FILE PHOTO: ARTHUR LEE CH 

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore should adopt corporate governance principles regardless of their size, as it will boost their credibility and future business opportunities.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck said on Thursday that having some elements of corporate governance would help steer smaller firms in the right direction.

"Starting right is very important, and the value of doing so will become apparent when a company reaches a stage when it contemplates on an initial public offering," said Mr Teo.

Having good corporate governance would also minimise risks to the enterprise, and lays the foundation for its sustainable growth, he added.

He was speaking to some 220 SME representatives who attended the 19th Enterprise 50 Awards day ceremony at Resorts World Sentosa.

As SMEs account for about half of Singapore's gross domestic product, Mr Teo urged them to continue to "create new value and deliver good jobs for Singaporeans".

In line with this year's theme for the awards - "Creating value to stay ahead" - Mr Teo said it was a timely reminder for gems to reshape business models and focus on value creation as a competitive advantage.

Doing so will help them stay ahead of their competition amid manpower constraints and rising business costs.

The event is jointly organised by The Business Times and KPMG in Singspore, and sponsored by OCBC Bank.

The 50 winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on Thursday night.

They were judged based on criteria including financial performance indicators, management and marketing strategies as well as business innovations among others.