Companies need to venture overseas, and trade associations and chambers have an important role to play in transforming their members, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday.
He urged more of these bodies to "step forward to help members in this period of economic transition".
Mr Teo was speaking at the installation ceremony of the 59th Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) council, held at its auditorium.
He cited how the SCCCI "stepped forward to bring local enterprises to innovation hubs in Silicon Valley and China, to learn and adapt new technologies for the Singapore and regional markets".
The body also set up the Trade Association Committee, a business-led platform to identify and solve challenges faced by trade associations.
"This will strengthen capabilities in our trade associations to help implement the 23 Industry Transformation Maps, which covers more than 80 per cent of our gross domestic product," said Mr Teo. The maps chart restructure and transformation plans.
The SCCCI will soon move to a new hub at Jurong Town Hall, to be in the same location as more than 20 trade associations and chambers, Mr Teo said. He added that having industry leaders under one roof will lead to more initiatives.
Newly elected SCCCI president Roland Ng echoed Mr Teo's sentiments, saying that the chamber will promote digitalisation through the hub, to help "local enterprises to understand what digital economy is all about and how to apply new technologies to transform their industries".
Mr Ng, the managing director and group chief executive of crane supplier Tat Hong Holdings, took over from Mr Thomas Chua, the chairman and managing director of printing and supply chain company Teckwah Industrial Corporation.
The SCCCI has also set up a Youth Business Affairs Committee, led by City Developments deputy chief executive Sherman Kwek, to groom successors and Chinese business leaders.