SINGAPORE - Close to three-quarters of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) here expect to grow their businesses in the next 12 months, a survey has found.
In addition, about 90 per cent of respondents said they have business dealings abroad.
However, one in three of SMEs surveyed said that the lack of access to capital and cash flow limited their abilities to expand overseas.
Its results were revealed at the launch of the new American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card on Thursday (Aug 1).
The survey also found that SME owners take an average of 7.6 business trips a year, and 70 per cent have employees who travel at least two times a month.
The top destinations for SME employees were Malaysia (61 per cent) and China (54 per cent), followed by Thailand (35 per cent) and Indonesia (34 per cent).
The poll of 200 SME owners with company revenues between $1 million and $20 million was conducted by American Express and Singapore Airlines (SIA) in June this year.
"Our survey shows that Singapore SMEs are optimistic about growth, but cash flow and overseas expansion are ever-present concerns," said Mr Geoff Begg, Amex senior vice president of global commercial services for Asia Pacific.
The new card, which is the first business travel card in Singapore, will provide SME owners with access to credit terms, greater savings and travel benefits to support their ambitions, Mr Begg added.
This partnership between SIA and Amex follows the airline's recent tie-ups in the financial sector.
Mr Campbell Wilson, SIA's senior vice president for sales and marketing, told The Straits Times that SIA's partnerships with the different firms have allowed it to reach Singaporeans across all segments of society, providing them with the options of credit and debit cards.
Asked if SIA is looking to expand its range of partnerships further, he said: "I think in Singapore, we have a full suite of products now."
However he added that there are opportunities to launch other loyalty cards overseas.
In April, KrisFlyer and United Overseas Bank (UOB) linked up to launch a new credit card that rewards users with air miles for their savings and spending.
It also announced an upgraded KrisFlyer UOB Savings account, which allows cardholders to earn more miles when they credit their monthly salary to the account.
In March, DBS Bank and SIA signed a memorandum of understanding to enable a seamless banking and travel customer experience for travellers by enhancing digital capabilities across various platforms.
Co-founder and managing director of financial comparison platform SingSaver.com.sg Rohith Murthy told ST that card users in Singapore are seeing greater value in miles cards nowadays, as compared to cashback cards, especially after several banks lowered the minimum annual income required to apply for these miles cards.
Miles cards typically target those with travel aspirations, Mr Murthy said, adding that users are also drawn by benefits such as fast track services at immigration and complimentary travel insurance.