, Singapore
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Overseas expansion rises in SMEs' priority list

Six in 10 said overseas expansion is their key priority for the year.

More local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are prioritising first-time overseas expansion and exploring new markets (60%), according to a survey by DBS.

In last year’s SME Pulse Check survey, 75% of SMEs ranked these two as their least priority.

DBS said SMEs were likely encouraged by the reopening of borders along with support from government schemes such as the enhanced Enterprise Financing Scheme announced at Budget 2023.

Apart from expansion, SMEs are also focused on ensuring they have consistent cash flow and managing costs amidst a persistently challenging business environment (62%).

SMEs are also eyeing to hire, retain and upskill their manpower (29%), make their business more sustainable and green (25%), and innovate new business models as part of their digital transformation.

To achieve these goals, more than half (58%) of SMEs are looking for trusted and reliable banking partners with a long track record of supporting businesses.

The banking partner’s presence and infrastructure were ranked most important (42%) for SMEs’ expansion into new markets.

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