Despite COVID-19, 15,300 companies in Singapore pressed on with projects to raise productivity, enhance innovation and pursue internationalisation in a challenging 2020, with support from government agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG).
In a press statement, ESG said these enterprises are largely from the retail, wholesale trade, manufacturing, food services and professional services sectors. Their efforts are expected to catalyse S$18.4 billion in value-add and 22,200 PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) jobs for the Singapore economy in the next few years.
ESG also ramped up its support to help enterprises access financing and accelerate digitalisation as means to sustain their businesses, amid the pandemic. A total 14,800 companies embarked on productivity improvements and capability upgrading projects in 2020 – a 78% increase over 2019.
A follow on from industry transformation roadmaps
These projects were aligned to the transformation strategies articulated in previously announced Industry Transformation Maps, covering capabilities such as automation, process and workflow redesign and digitalisation, and branding and marketing.
Six hundred companies undertook innovation projects, which was comparable to 2019. They embarked on these projects to develop new products and solutions to capture COVID-induced opportunities or build up their innovation capabilities to enhance their longer-term competitiveness.
Internationalisation activities among Singapore enterprises slowed down in 2020 due to global travel restrictions. Nonetheless, 1,600 enterprises (38% lower than in 2019) continued to pursue internationalisation in different forms, reflecting their sustained interest and agility to adapt and capture overseas opportunities. China and Southeast Asia remained the top markets of interest.
“ESG is heartened to see enterprises pressing on with transformation efforts to better compete and capture new opportunities moving forward, despite the challenges of COVID-19.
“We will support more enterprises to continue in these efforts in 2021 with a focus on building new business capabilities, supporting internationalisation in a hybrid manner, as well as leveraging innovation as an enabler to move up the value chain and pivot to new business models so that they can compete more effectively globally’” said ESG.