Local SMEs want more support to go global, says report

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore would like more information and support on global trade opportunities to help them internationalise, said new research from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

The accounting body's report revealed that nearly half of respondents in its latest survey would still like to receive such information and support, despite a majority already participating in some international business.

Among small Singapore businesses, competition was cited as the biggest barrier to international trade, ACCA's report, Growing Globally, showed.

Some 43 per cent of respondents said that the most helpful measure for enabling more SMEs to internationalise was providing more information and support on trade opportunities, while the same number said securing new or improved trade agreements was crucial.

"Internationalisation can potentially bring a range of growth benefits for both SMEs and the broader economy, while also driving productivity," explained Mr Ben Baruch, head of SME policy at the ACCA.

The local economy and productivity benefit from the expansion of domestic small businesses, so there is a "clear incentive" for policymakers to address these barriers and help businesses with international expansion, noted country head of ACCA Singapore Reuter Chua.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2018, with the headline 'Local SMEs want more support to go global, says report'. Print Edition | Subscribe