SINGAPORE - The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) will set up a $10 million fund to complement the Government's efforts to strengthen national identity, sense of belonging and cultural confidence.
The fund will be used to deepen the spirit of Chinese entrepreneurs, SCCCI president Roland Ng said on Friday (March 15).
He was speaking at the installation ceremony of the chamber's 60th council, where he serves his second term as president.
He said the priorities in his new term include helping those who encounter difficulties with family business succession.
He will also help businesses enter overseas markets by linking the chamber's centres in three Chinese cities - Shanghai, Chongqing and Chengdu - with an international network called World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention.
Mr Ng said that the spirit of Chinese entrepreneurs - comprising values such as integrity, loyalty and innovation -has motivated the chamber to contribute to society since it was formed in 1906.
"Before Singapore gained independence, the chamber headed the move to fight for citizenship rights for Chinese residents," he said in Mandarin.
It secured citizenship for 220,000 ethnic Chinese in Singapore after a decade, who then made the Republic their home, he added.
The chamber had also disbursed scholarships to outstanding students post-Independence regardless of their race and background.
Mr Ng said that over the past two years, SCCCI has received the government's support to lead more than 30 trade associations in moving into the Trade Association Hub in Jurong, helping them to transform and upgrade their capabilities through digitalisation and internationalisation.
President Halimah Yacob said during the installation ceremony that the SCCCI has "laid important groundwork" to support local industries.
It has "reached out to more than 14,000 SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) through business advisory sessions, and facilitated group-based upgrading projects for over 40 companies in the last three years".
Beneficiaries include heartland retailers who have installed a cashless payment IT solution with business analytics function to improve productivity, she added.