New platform for trade associations and chambers launched to enable closer partnerships

Ms Low Yen Ling (centre) with Singapore Business Foundation chief executive officer Lam Yi Young (far right) showing the OneTAC SG app. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - About 300 trade associations and chambers in Singapore will now have a way to establish closer partnerships with one another, with the launch of a new platform on Wednesday.

The platform, OneTAC SG, was developed by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) as a way to bring together the trade associations and chambers (TAC) community and build a strong business ecosystem in Singapore.

There are more than 300 trade associations and chambers in Singapore, representing a range of groups from various industries and professions.

Apart from helping to facilitate better communication in the community, the platform will also help trade associations and chambers improve their capabilities.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling, who was at the launch at the SBF Centre in Robinson Road, said: "The last 2½ years have shown us that there is an increased impetus for us to press on with not just our enterprise transformation, but also the transformation at the TAC level."

She added that business models will continue to evolve rapidly, making it crucial to support staff of trade associations and chambers in improving their skills so that they can better help the groups they represent.

OneTAC SG is open to all the trade associations and chambers and their secretariat staff in Singapore and is complimentary in the first year. Details on the pricing model for subsequent years are still being worked out.

The platform can be accessed via the Web or through a mobile application.

Features include sending and receiving electronic business cards, and getting access to reports, guides and advisories relevant to the association and its businesses.

Trade associations and chambers can also view and search for other associations and chambers.

Executive director of the Association of Process Industry, Mr Wayne Yap, said: "The platform will help to break down the silos we have, which have deepened during Covid-19. (With the app), you can also enable staff to see and understand what others are doing."

SBF on Wednesday also unveiled more details on three programmes targeted at trade associations and chambers. The programmes were announced by Ms Low in Parliament in March.

All three programmes will run for three years from August this year to July 2025.

They are meant to increase trade associations and chambers' capabilities, especially in digital adoption and leadership development.

The Digitalisation of TACs programme will provide funding support of 70 per cent on qualifying costs for eligible trade associations and chambers to adopt pre-approved digital solutions and training.

To help the leaders of trade associations and chambers become more competent, the TAC Fellowship Programme will target those at the executive director and director levels, as well as promising secretariat staff. Those selected will attend a leadership course.

Government agency Enterprise Singapore will fund 90 per cent of both the $9,000 course fee and the cash award of $5,000 that will be given upon completion.

Lastly, the TAC Leadership Accelerator Programme will help trade associations and chambers attract and hone talent. It is targeted at mid-career professionals with industry experience who are new full-time employees in a trade association or chamber, and have not worked in any trade association or chamber previously.

Those selected will go through a six-month part-time programme. Funding support will be provided for course fees and participants' monthly salaries.

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