Finance Minister & Deputy Prime Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam stated that research has shown the significance of local SMEs in Singapore, and they must continue to stay at the heart of the country’s economy and society as foundations for both innovation and prospective development.
A way to ensure this happens involves striving for quality and natural skills, in each area of specialisation. It also means taking opportunities presented by technology or emerging markets. It was emphasised that both the government and trade associations and chambers (TACs) need to work more closely together.
Mr Shanmugaratnam said the government has already increased the resources distributed to SMEs and discussed how tax incentives and grant schemes & various initiatives will help more developing companies take a risk to expand.
He also said a significant part of Budget 2015 was about one initiative SkillsFuture which could be a huge opportunity for TACs in order to enhance their roles in helping members meet the financial needs of the future.
The talk went on to identify where improvements are to be made, and it was stated that many SMEs lack their own training capacity. Therefore SkillsFuture is an opportunity for a new form of industry collaboration, for the government to work with the TACs and businesses to develop the workforce in Singapore.