IE Singapore sets up network for SMEs to expand overseas quickly


INTERNATIONAL Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) aims to ease market entry for Singapore SMEs with the launch of its new Plug and Play Network.

The network will provide support in business advisory services, business matching and market set-up through co-working spaces.

Close to six in 10 Singapore SMEs cite finding suitable business partners and contacts as a key challenge of expanding into foreign markets.

The Plug and Play network will help SMEs access China, India and South-east Asia, gaining them access across six markets and to over 45 major cities, including New Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai.

It will ease the initial challenges SMEs face when going into an unknown market, such as leasing office spaces. With co-working spaces, companies can set up easily and without the hassle of renovation, registration and rental agreements.

The initiative was announced at IE Singapore's Going Global with Digital iAdvisory Forum, held at ParkRoyal hotel on Thursday.

Satvinder Singh, assistant chief executive officer, IE Singapore, said: "Each market has its specific challenges and unique characteristics.

"To succeed, it is critical to familiarise with local business conditions and find partners with the right networks."

He added: "IE Singapore designed our Plug and Play Network to enable SMEs to gain access to co-working spaces, specialised assistance for market research and business connections, in a relatively lower-risk and resource-light approach.

"This first-of-its-kind network will allow them to establish physical presence and connectivity into growing markets in China, India and Southeast Asia more quickly and easily."

Companies will also be able to tap into business-matching services through on-board partners and gain over 5,000 local business leads in 11 key sectors, including retail, technology and F&B.

The network aims to benefit 200-300 Singapore companies yearly.

IE Singapore is a government agency that promotes international trade and partners Singapore companies to go global.