28 projects help over 8,300 SMEs

More than 8,300 local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expected to have benefited from a slew of projects led by trade associations and chambers (TACs) in the year since May 2016.

The projects focus on areas such as productivity improvements, market access, digitalisation and technology adoption, said Spring Singapore and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.

They have initiated 28 projects over the past year. These were supported under the Local Enterprise and Association Development (Lead) programme, which is jointly administered by Spring and IE Singapore.

Spring Singapore chief executive Poon Hong Yuen said: "TACs are key enablers in enterprise development and strong partners to our SMEs.

"With their industry experience and good business networks, they are well-positioned to aggregate the needs of the industry, and source for suitable solutions to help SMEs strengthen business capabilities."

Of the 28 industry-development and internationalisation projects supported over the year, close to 36 per cent were initiated by associations new to the Lead programme, including the Law Society of Singapore, the Singapore Transport Association and the Singapore Medical Association.

IE Singapore chief executive Lee Ark Boon said: "TACs play an important role in helping our SMEs go overseas. We will continue to support them, especially to partner them on digitally-driven projects that will make it easier for SMEs to export their products and services globally amid this challenging global landscape."

Since the Lead programme's inception in 2005, 47 TACs have come on board to spearhead more than 200 industry projects in areas of productivity enhancement, capability upgrading and market access.

Over 40,000 local enterprises have benefited from these projects in the last decade.

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2017, with the headline '28 projects help over 8,300 SMEs'. Print Edition | Subscribe