Singapore

Trade associations to work together to promote growth

More than 20 trade associations are set to collaborate more closely in the national push to grow companies and help them venture overseas, with the launch of the new Trade Association (TA) Hub in Jurong yesterday morning.

The refurbished space, which was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, contains shared facilities that associations can use to reduce operating costs, including meeting and training areas available on a pay-per-use basis.

At the opening ceremony, Mr Lee said the hub is "not just a brick and mortar space". "It will also help build a stronger TAC (trade association and chambers) community, and cultivate a culture of mutual support and collaboration."

The 25 tenants that moved in earlier this year include anchor tenant Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), the Singapore Food Manufacturers' Association (SFMA) and the Kranji Countryside Association (KCA).

The hub was mooted by the SCCCI in 2014.

SFMA president Thomas Pek said that moving its operations from its headquarters in Chinatown to the TA Hub in Jurong has helped the association, which has more than 400 members including brands like Bee Cheng Hiang, to source for new technological solutions.

For example, it was able to partner another tenant at the hub, the Landscape Industry Association (Singapore), to sign a memorandum of understanding two months ago with the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore.

They will explore how they can share technologies for converting waste into compost and recycling by-products.

"We also hope to look for new overseas markets or business partners when the TA Hub hosts trade exhibitions or foreign visitors," said Mr Pek.

In his speech, PM Lee underlined the important role played by the more than 300 TACs here.

They are "aggregators and multipliers" in the business eco-system, he said.

"You are close to the companies, and understand the needs of your industries well. You support small and medium enterprises to overcome the limitations of size by working together, and doing things that would otherwise be difficult for a single company to do alone."

He added that he hoped to see TACs work together to help Singapore companies venture overseas, and expand their global footprint.

Business