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Internationalisation, innovation, improving cost competitiveness are high on the agenda for Singapore's enterprises

Internationalisation, innovation, improving cost competitiveness are high on the agenda for Singapore's enterprises

Meanwhile, some cyclical headwinds such as the inventory correction in manufacturing and inflation are expected to ease in the economy.

In 2023, around 18,000 enterprises in Singapore have worked with Enterprise SG for growing their revenue and strengthening cost competitiveness. This in turn, in turn, helped create and preserve jobs for Singaporeans.

Of the 18,000 enterprises involved involved, 3,000 companies embarked on new transformative projects with EnterpriseSG, which are expected to boost their annual revenue by S$16.4bn and create 21,500 skilled jobs.

Moreover, some 15,000 companies undertook projects on basic capability building and market exploration. Of this, 85% adopted digital solutions such inventory and accounting, sales, warehousing and HR management systems, and enhanced their operational efficiency through automation. Meanwhile, others embarked on activities to explore new market opportunities such as participating in overseas trade fairs.

As inflation pressures are likely to ease in 2024 according to EnterpriseSG, the manufacturing sector is also expected to rebound. However, longer term structural challenges such as a more fragmented global economy and resource constraints remain. Against this background, EnterpriseSG is looking to adapt its strategies to help businesses address these challenges and pursue new growth opportunities.

Navigating headwinds and growing revenue in 2023

In 2023, EnterpriseSG worked with businesses to boost projected annual revenues by a total of S$16.4bn through the following means;

  • internationalisation (S$5.2bn),
  • innovation (S$1bn), and
  • improving cost competitiveness (S$10.2bn).

In terms of internationalisation, EnterpriseSG ramped up efforts to support Singapore companies to secure deals, access new market opportunities and grow their presence overseas through 460 overseas projects. These include new competencies to expand overseas such as through business strategy development, international branding and marketing, and the adoption of new standards. These efforts are expected to help grow companies' annual revenue by S$5.2bn.

In terms of innovation, companies has been aided in developing new products and services to capture new market demands. As part of this, companies are expected to raise revenue by S$1bn. In 2023, EnterpriseSG also added the following avenues for innovation and collaboration:

  • Four new GIA nodes focused on emerging sectors such as AI, sustainability tech and clean energy were set up in New York, Mumbai, Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Eight new open innovation challenges (OICs) were launched, resulting in a total of 140 new products being co-developed since its inception. 
  • A new centre of innovation (COI) for built environment–robotics & automation was set up while the COI on food manufacturing was expanded. This provides Singapore enterprises access to specialised resources in training, advisory services and laboratory facilities.
    • The two centres aim to bring on board more than 800 Singapore SMEs in the next two years.

Lastly, in terms of improving cost competitiveness, work was done with companies to improve their business processes to become more efficient and cost competitive. These include automation, process redesign and offshoring projects. This resulted in a projected increase of $10bn in annual revenue amongst the Singapore companies. 

Moving forward, some cyclical headwinds such as the inventory correction in manufacturing and inflation are expected to ease. That being said, longer term structural challenges arising from more trade and investment restrictions as well as resource constraints are likely to persist.


Lead image / 123rf 

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