Singapore

Iswaran: Going digital will help SMEs be competitive

Digital marketplaces will allow companies to pool resources and complement their product offerings to sharpen their competitiveness.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which lack market reach to supply-and-demand networks, and volumes for economies of scale, will benefit from this, said Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran in highlighting the key elements of digitalising the wholesale trade sector.

Digital platforms will enhance the companies' ability to expand market reach and improve productivity, he added.

An example is a platform that allows for customs clearance through a single window. To be launched by year-end, it will allow wholesale traders in the region to move goods across borders more efficiently.

About 500 Singapore freight forwarders and shippers are already on board.

Another example is an agreement to set up automated customs declaration at 18 checkpoints globally.

"The solutions being developed through such initiatives will bring new capabilities into our ecosystem and provide many channels for enterprises to connect directly with different segments of the value chain.

"This will in turn strengthen Singapore's competitiveness as a global trading hub," said Mr Iswaran. - FOO JIE YING

TRADINGTechnologyMINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (MTI)