ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

SMEs must team up to survive disruption: Heng Swee Keat

Businesses must collaborate with academe, industry and government.

The city’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should set aside competition and work towards greater collaboration in an effort to weather the disruption brought about by technological advances, finance minister Heng Swee Keat said in a keynote speech at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) for SMEs.

"By working together, it doesn't mean we don't compete. There are many areas that we have common problems, and for common problems, we should come together for a common solution," said Mr Heng. 

Amidst steeper business costs, manpower crunch and stiff competition houding their growth, businesses need to tie up with key groups including universities, industry and the government in order to form a “Triangle of Innovation,” he added.

Also read: 7 in 10 SMEs struggle with manpower costs

SMEs, for instance, could tap into the Group-Based Upgrading (GBU) initiative by Enterprise Singapore which encourages SMEs to adopt group-based solutions when tackling business challenges.

The call for collaboration is especially relevant as the center of economic gravity shifts back to Asia.

“The more that we work together, the more we can achieve economies of scale, and that we can go out, and yet each of us create something special, the better it is,” he added.

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