Singapore urges SMEs to adapt, build workforce for post-pandemic
Singapore’s SMEs should capture new growth opportunities and develop a future-ready workforce to ensure business sustainability in the long run, said Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong.
They must also remain outward-looking and stay engaged with the global economy, he said at a virtual conference held by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI).
A majority of Singapore firms, predominantly SMEs, view the availability of suitable manpower, adaptation to COVID-19 safe management measures, rising costs, and transforming or pivoting to growth areas as top business challenges.
The minister highlighted that while it has been a challenging period, businesses can find new opportunities for transformation and growth amid the pandemic. “If we change our perspective to proactively identify new growth opportunities, prioritise the development of our people and renew our efforts to engage the global economy, I am confident we will do well in a post-pandemic world.”
While many companies have successfully connected with their audience and partners through virtual means, the government recognises that such relationships cannot always remain online, he said.
“As Singapore transitions to living with COVID-19, we are looking to ease our border restrictions to facilitate business and international travel, and regain our air and maritime connectivity,” said the minister.