Singapore SME business sentiment on the rise: survey

BUSINESS sentiment among Singapore SMEs (small and medium enterprises) has risen, at least according to this year's Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (SCCCI) annual business survey...

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Money

New Payments Council to plot S'pore's cashless drive

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HAS the Singapore dollar (SGD) gone up too much? Yes, say analysts, who believe that it would start to retrace against the US dollar in the second half of this year.

Sing dollar too strong: DBS currency strategist

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Videos

Garena's Nick Nash: The state of start-ups in SEA

Rather than have start-ups die, they should merge and build together, says Nick Nash, Group President of Garena.

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Editor's Pick

Asean Economic Community - what opportunities/risks are there for local SMEs?

I have not seen any direct impact on my business so far. Are there opportunities that I'm missing? Or risks (competition) that I'm not seeing?...
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Expert’s Take

Ivan Tan
Group Director, Southeast Asia & Oceania, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore

The AEC is meant to drive deeper regional integration and stronger growth, by lowering barriers to boost the flow of trade, services and investments within the region. Yes, it definitely brings benefits and opportunities, but note that the AEC is a long-term commitment among ASEAN members. It takes time and there will be risks.

We can look at the benefits in 3 areas:

First, in goods. Currently, the barriers for trade in goods within ASEAN are quite low so exporters and manufacturers across different sectors can already benefit. For example, the ASEAN – 6 (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) have eliminated import tariffs on more than 99% of goods from other ASEAN countries, while the remaining countries are expected to follow suit in the next 3 years. With this, costs of regionally-sourced raw materials or inputs become lower for SMEs. This reduces your manufacturing and production costs, and raises competitiveness for Singapore-produced goods. However, Non-Tariff Barriers still need to be reduced and customs procedures need to be streamlined.

Second, in services. We see good progress in the liberalisation of the services sector. Sectors such as professional services, construction and healthcare have opened up, creating opportunities for our SMEs to enter the space.

Third, in investment. Singapore-based investments into another ASEAN country is better protected by a robust Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, which gives investors additional recourse to seek redress or compensation if they are treated unfairly by the host government.

Overall, the AEC has created favourable conditions for Singapore companies to expand their markets and lower their costs. But we are aware that you may face challenges in finding suitable local partners and navigating the local business landscape, which differ greatly from Singapore. With strong connections on the ground, IE Singapore can help by sharing market insights, advising on setup and regulations, as well as connecting you to potential local partners and relevant government agencies. We also work with industry associations and chambers of commerce to help companies gain exposure to the region through workshops and seminars. In fact, we recently organised a webinar where we discussed some of the key opportunities and challenges faced by Singapore firms interested in venturing to the region, and we encourage you to learn more here: https://www.iesingapore.gov.sg/IE-Blog/ASEAN-Webinar-Opportunities-for-y...

Towkays

Giving hope to traditional businesses

STEP into Bynd Artisan's new atelier at Raffles City and what greets you is their signature display of rainbow-coloured paper and customised...

From teen rebel to digital agency boss

Failing a year in JC and nearly getting expelled put James Chua, now the managing director of Germs Digital, on a path of self-discovery.

Next-generation Singapore entrepreneurs share lessons from their parents

Three next-generation entrepreneurs reflect on values imparted to them by their parents that drive them today.

Going Global

Building ties in pharma industry 'just like courtship'

Small and medium-sized enterprises are planting the Singapore flag in distant markets around the world. In the last instalment of a four-part...

Yang Kee Logistics: homegrown logistics firm goes global with M&A

Homegrown logistics firm Yang Kee Logistics' acquisition of Australian supply chain company Axima is set to fulfil Yang Kee's vision of developing...

Tech Disruptors

Makers of X-mini speakers still pushing to the max

Technological advances have changed the game for many businesses, forcing some to close and others to relook their plans. In the fourth and last part of a weekly series, The Straits Times looks at...

Startups

Startups get a fillip at one-north Festival

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Zeemart whips up link for food suppliers and buyers

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Ex-Nasa scientist shoots for the stars with Singapore startup incubator for space tech

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Small Caps

Loyz Energy back in the black, posts profit of US$11.4m for Q4

THE successful renegotiation of the consideration for the acquisition of a Thailand concession between Loyz Energy and Carnarvon Thailand,...

Wong Fong takes 60% stake in hospitality consultancy and training group for S$4m

ENGINEERING solutions group Wong Fong Industries announced on Wednesday, after trading hours, that it has signed a sale and purchase agreement to...

Hatten Land's Q4 net profit up almost 200%

CATALIST-LISTED Hatten Land's net profit jumped almost 200 per cent to RM59.7 million (S$19 million) for its fourth quarter ended June 30, up from...

Resources

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Loyalty and limitation in family businesses

Relying on trusted insiders need not pose a limitation on growth as long as owners continuously broaden their organisation beyond what they themselves can do. Ultimately, for any ambitious family...

The importance of search engine optimisation

Are bigger companies always better versed in search engine optimisation (SEO) than small and medium enterprises (SMEs)? Do organisations understand the difference between organic traffic and paid...

Government

12 land parcels for vegetable farming at Lim Chu Kang up for sale by public tender

THE Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) on Thursday launched 12 land parcels for vegetable farming at Lim Chu Kang for sale by...

Singapore non-oil exports growth up 8.5% in July

NON-OIL domestic export (NODX) growth rose 8.5 per cent year on year in July, extending the 8.8 per cent growth in June, according to trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore.

Skills Frameworks for food services and retail sectors launched

THE Skills Frameworks for the food services and retail sectors were launched on Friday to support the design of training programmes for skills and career development.

Economy

Jump in June factory output sees economists revising upwards Q2 GDP growth estimates

BETTER-than-expected industrial production numbers in June have led economists to expect Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the second quarter to be upgraded to closer to 3 per...