ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

SMEs seek greener pastures abroad as domestic growth slows

Almost half believe that expansion will drive growth.

Singapore’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are turning to internationalisation to combat lacklustre local growth, according to the inaugural SME Growth and Financing Survey 2016 by Singapore Business Federation and Standard Chartered.

The survey showed that 45% of respondents expect an increase in revenue in 2016, with almost 60%1 saying more business activities outside of Singapore will drive growth. This suggests a shift towards efforts to expand the consumer base as SMEs explore neighbouring economies for opportunities.

The four top expansion markets are India, Indonesia, Cambodia, and China, on back of their geographic proximity and robust domestic demand.

“Initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the ASEAN Economic Community offer new and rich opportunities for Singapore businesses as they look to overseas for expansion. By making the most of these platforms and constantly upgrading their capabilities, companies can remain competitive and position themselves well for the next phase of growth and development. We strongly encourage SMEs to leverage on the strong Singapore brand to regionalise their business.” said Mr Koh Tat Liang, Assistant Executive Director for Capacity Building at Singapore Business Federation. 

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