2024 is shaping up to be a promising year for Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as they stand to gain from the growing influx of foreign direct investment (FDI) and the accompanying technology transfer. This was the consensus among industry experts at the recent DBS Market Outlook Series forum.
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Koh Kar Siong, the managing director and group head for corporate and SME banking at DBS, highlighted Singapore’s continuing magnet for substantial FDI. The city-state attracts foreign investments thanks to its reputation as a safe haven, its business-friendly climate, and its highly skilled workforce.
The benefits of FDI are not just financial but also come in the form of technology, innovation, and technical expertise. This opens up numerous possibilities for SMEs to leverage these advancements.
“When multinational corporations diversify and decarbonise their supply chains across Asia, SMEs with a sustainable edge would be in a prime position to support this expansion,” Koh shared.
The outlook is not just optimistic but also expansion-oriented, as revealed in a survey presented by Ray Kwan, director of South Asia, Middle East, and Africa international business division at the Singapore Business Federation.
Despite cautious business sentiment, half of the local businesses are optimistic about their opportunities to expand abroad.
Kwan predicts a robust growth trajectory for SMEs that already have an international presence.
In addition, DBS economist Chua Han Teng mentioned that the current easing in wage growth and a softer labour market could provide local enterprises with the much-needed breathing room to navigate through an economic environment still riddled with uncertainties.
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