Over 8,300 SMEs to benefit from industry-led projects: Spring, IE Singapore

SINGAPORE - More than 8,300 local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expected to benefit from a slew of projects led by trade associations and chambers (TACs) in the year since May 2016.

The projects focus on areas such as productivity improvements, access to markets, digitalisation and technology adoption, said Spring Singapore and International Enterprise Singapore.

Altogether, they initiated 28 projects, which were supported under the Local Enterprise and Association Development (Lead) programme, which is jointly administered by Spring and IE Singapore.

"TACs are key enablers in enterprise development and strong partners to our SMEs. With their industry experience and good business networks, they are well-positioned to aggregate the needs of the industry and source for suitable solutions to help SMEs strengthen business capabilities," said Spring Singapore chief executive Poon Hong Yuen.

Of the 28 industry development and internationalisation projects supported over the year, close to 36 per cent were initiated by associations new to the Lead programme. These include the Law Society of Singapore, the Singapore Transport Association and the Singapore Medical Association.

IE Singapore chief executive Lee Ark Boon added: "TACs play an important role in helping our SMEs go overseas. We will continue to support them, especially to partner them on digitally-driven projects that will make it easier for SMEs to export their products and services globally amid this challenging global landscape."

Since the Lead programme's inception in 2005, 47 TACs have come on board to spearhead more than 200 industry projects in areas of productivity enhancement, capability upgrading and market access.

More than 40,000 local enterprises have benefitted from these projects in the last decade.