The Singaporean government has outlined new measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) abroad, dubbed the "engine room of the country's economy".
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has identified three areas in which SMEs will receive additional government support, which include help seeking fresh business opportunities abroad through internationalisation and industry collaboration.
"The SME sector is an important pillar of Singapore's economy," said MTI Minister Teo Ser Luck at the programme's launch. "The review of the development strategies for our SMEs aims to help them strengthen their business competitiveness.”
The new initiatives were outlined after a review of strategies was conducted by MTI and organisations created to assist SMEs, such as SPRING Singapore and International Enterprise Singapore, along with stakeholders from the business community. SMEs make up 99% of companies in the city state and contribute more than 50% to the economic output. Last year more than 31,700 companies were set up in Singapore, a 5.8% rise on new enterprises for 2011.
To help Singapore’s growing SME base to expand abroad, the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant comes with advice from pre-approved consultants on areas such as market assessment, market entry and business restructuring through internationalisation. The grant has been structured to ensure that not only are SMEs able to identify market opportunities, but they also get continued support. SPRING has also helped by streamlining its programmes and creating a more succinct approach for businesses to seek government help.
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