Trade Barrier 2: Lack of Capacity to Internationalize and Difficulty in Identifying Foreign Business Opportunities

Singapore presented the recommendations to address “Trade Barrier 2: Lack of Capacity to Internationalize and Difficulty in Identifying Foreign Business” in the proposal for “Addressing Barriers to Trade for Small and Medium Enterprises in APEC” endorsed by APEC Ministers in May 2011. The recommendations were largely based on the APEC Internationalization Best Practices Study project that was commissioned by the SMEWG.

Market Access and Internationalization

Singapore reported on progress of activities under “market access and internationalization” which was expected to constitute a part of the SMEWG Strategic Plan 2013 -2016.

Sharing of Best Practices in the Priority Area of - Business Environment, Market Access and Internationalisation

ingapore shared two initiatives for fostering industry-wide collaboration: 1) Collaborative Industry Projects (CIP) and 2) Partnerships For Capability Transformation (PACT). CIP supports consortia collaboration to develop scalable solutions with potential for mass adoption by industries. The PACT scheme encourages partnerships between global manufacturers and SMEs to facilitate knowledge transfer, innovation and productivity enhancements within supply chains.

Enhancing SME Innovation Through Technology Transfer

Singapore shared its experience in enhancing SME innovation through technology transfer. Singapore built up partnership networks and infrastructure to enhance SME innovation development, e.g. the Partnerships for Capability Transformation (PACT) and Technology for Enterprise Capability Upgrading (T-UP). Singapore also shared information about infrastructures established to provide assistance to SMEs in developing innovative products and services.

Start, Scale, Soar: Supporting the Growth Journey of Start-ups

ingapore shared its strategies to support the growth journey of start‐ups, which was summarized under “Start, Scale, Soar”. By creating an environment where budding entrepreneurs can start and thrive (“Start”), with the right infrastructure and partners to maximize their chances of success (“Scale”); and providing overseas networks and opportunities to facilitate internationalization (“Soar”). Singapore encouraged greater linkages between start‐up communities and incubators within APEC.

Workforce Singapore

Workforce Singapore (WSG) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). It will oversee the transformation of the local workforce and industry to meet ongoing economic challenges.



Established in 2006 and formerly known as the Enterprise Development Centre@SCCCI (EDC@SCCCI), SME Centre@SCCCI (the Centre) is a collaboration between SPRING Singapore and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI). Its mission is to provide holistic general business advisory and capability development services to local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and aspiring entrepreneurs.


SME Centre @ SICCI

SME Centre@Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SME Centre@SICCI) was set up in 2008 in collaboration with SPRING Singapore (A government body) to offer business advisory services at no charge.

The SME Centre@SICCI hopes to be a one-stop business solution partner for Singapore-based enterprises that are looking to grow their businesses locally and expand overseas.



SME Centre @SMCCI was established in 2006 with a mission to provide one-stop services to assist local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) amidst the backdrop of the challenging global economic landscape.

As a strategic partner of SPRING Singapore, SME Centre @SMCCI partners with aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to help them grow and transform their businesses through a diverse range of services such as: (1) complimentary one-to-one general business advisory to identify business needs and chart milestones; (2) capability development services to improve business processes and performance; (3) business diagnostic assessments to eliminate gaps and increase productivity; and, (4) themed-based workshops to facilitate sharing of business tips and trends for companies to remain relevant and trends for companies to remain relevant.