- POSTED: 16 Jan 2014 20:04
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Singapore manufacturers are showing keen interest to expand in Malaysia’s Johor Bahru and Indonesia’s Riau islands. To help them spread their wings to these regions, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) launched a new business portal on Thursday.
SINGAPORE: Singapore manufacturers are showing keen interest to expand in Malaysia’s Johor Bahru and Indonesia’s Riau islands.
To help them spread their wings to these regions, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) launched a new business portal on Thursday.
The new business portal is to help SMEs gather relevant information from various government websites and internal research findings on how to set up business in Iskandar Malaysia and the Riau islands.
This online tool is also to complement SMF's Business Expansion Programme, which already helped 45 companies with their expansion plans in these two regions near Singapore.
Since January last year, the programme has reached out to over 500 companies - reflecting keen interest by manufacturers on Iskandar and the Riau islands.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan said integrating with these economies can help manufacturers cope with manpower constraints and rising business costs in Singapore.
Mr Lee said: “Comparatively, if you were to go further away in China, you have to ship components from the coastal port to inland locations, and from inland locations back out to Singapore. That combination may be weighed down by logistic cost. So overall cost-wise, it may not be competitive.”
Rising business costs in Singapore have thinned profit margins for companies.
Some experts have attributed it to foreign labour curbs following the economic restructuring that started a few years ago.
While there are also some problems with shortage of manpower in Iskandar Malaysia, a manufacturer looking to establish a factory there said its operations of about 50 employees should not face too much of a manpower problem.
According to a business survey from DP Information Group, two out of five SMEs derive a third of their revenue overseas.
Half of Singapore SMEs with turnover exceeding S$5 million have overseas revenue.