Broad support, but awareness lacking, for industry road maps: SBF chief

MORE still needs to be done to raise awareness among companies about Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), the government's road maps for transforming each sector, said Singapore Business Federation (SBF) chief executive Ho Meng Kit.

While there has been broad support from businesses for the programme, Mr Ho said companies - especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - still do not know enough about it.

He was responding to articles in The Business Times and The Straits Times which quoted him as saying that ITMs are disconnected from the needs of companies.

"My intention was to share some feedback I had received from some companies. These represented the perception of these companies on the ITMs," said Mr Ho at a SBF press conference on Thursday.

"Unfortunately, my comments were misinterpreted to represent SBF's position on the full situation of the ITMs."

ITMs were launched as part of a S$4.5 billion industry transformation package in Budget 2016. They are industry-specific roadmaps which aim to take an integrated approach where trade associations and chambers (TACs), firms, and the government work together to help each sector prepare for the future.

So far, 15 ITMs have been launched and the remaining eight will be launched by March this year, making it a total of 23 ITMs which will cover 80 per cent of the economy.

A survey released on Thursday by the SBF showed that 52 per cent of the roughly 1,000 companies polled said they still do not know enough about the ITMs.

This shows more has to be done to raise awareness, Mr Ho said.

"SBF has been closely partnering our government agencies and member companies in the implementation of the ITMs," he added.

"This is because we fully recognise the importance of the ITMs in helping our businesses grow and transform, especially our SMEs."