Trade row may be affecting smaller firms here: Study

The trade conflict between China and the United States may be having an impact on smaller firms here that are most exposed to global trade, a new study shows.

It noted that the two sectors most vulnerable to trade tensions are commerce and wholesale as well as transport and storage.

The study, which analysed payment data from about 120,000 firms here, said the proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the commerce-wholesale sector that made their payments by the deadline fell to 41 per cent in the third quarter from 45 per cent in the second.

Timely payments for firms in the transport and storage industry declined from 43 per cent in the second quarter to 39 per cent in the third.

The two sectors also showed slight increases in the percentage of SMEs that were more than 90 days overdue in making payment, according to the study by DP Information Group (DP Info).

Mr James Gothard, general manager, credit services and strategy for the region at DP Info's parent Experian, said: "Trade tariffs ... have the potential to impact Singapore's SMEs in a number of ways - by reducing the competitiveness of their exports and by affecting sales in overseas markets.

IMPACT OF TARIFFS

Trade tariffs ... have the potential to impact Singapore's SMEs in a number of ways - by reducing the competitiveness of their exports and by affecting sales in overseas markets.

'' MR JAMES GOTHARD, general manager, credit services and strategy for the region at DP Info's parent Experian.

"Even if a specific country is not the target of tariffs, demand for intermediate goods from a country that is the target can be impacted."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2018, with the headline 'Trade row may be affecting smaller firms here: Study'. Print Edition | Subscribe