SINGAPORE: In line with the Government’s plan to transform industries, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) has launched an industry transformation map and initiated a Trade Association (TA) Hub for trade associations as the Prime Minister calls on them to keep helping to upgrade Singapore’s economy.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday (Nov 22) called trade associations and chambers (TACs) “important partners” in helping to “grow our companies, and create better jobs for Singaporeans”.
Mr Lee also called them the “aggregators and multipliers in our business ecosystem” when he spoke at the opening of the TA Hub.
With their pulse on their industries’ needs, TACs can support SMEs, helping them “overcome the limitations of size by working together, and doing things that would otherwise be difficult for a single company to do alone,” Mr Lee said.
The TA Hub, where TACs can collaborate, opened three years after it was initiated by SCCCI.
Mr Lee added that the TA Hub, located at Jurong Town Hall, will help build a stronger TAC community, and cultivate a culture of mutual support and collaboration”.
Currently, more than 160 trade associations are members of the SCCCI, which also held its fifth trade association congress on Wednesday.
Through the TA Hub, Mr Lee said he hopes TACs “will find more opportunities to work together even across different industries”. This can also help them venture overseas and expand their global footprint.
One example is the IE Singapore-SCCCI Singapore Enterprise Centre (ISSEC), which provides facilitation and business matching services to Singapore companies venturing into China.
The Government, he said, will also do more to help companies “upgrade, scale up and compete internationally”, through the merger of SPRING and IE Singapore, which will form the new agency, Enterprise Singapore. This will allow the government to streamline their initiatives and schemes, “to provide simpler yet more comprehensive support to companies and TACs”.
A Trade Association Transformation Map was also announced at the SCCCI congress. The map identifies challenges faced by trade associations and chambers, and looks at ways these challenges can be addressed.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann, who also spoke at the event, said that Singapore’s transformation is not limited to industries with Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) that the Government is in the process of developing.
The ITMs cover 23 sectors, which cover approximately 80 per cent of Singapore’s economy. Fourteen ITMs have been launched, and the rest will be launched in next year.
“Our goal for a future-ready Singapore involves driving productivity, innovation and competitiveness across all sectors,” Ms Sim said.
Ms Sim also highlighted four pillars that will support the Trade Association Transformation Map.
The first looks to build strong secretariat capabilities that will develop career pathways and address talent development in trade associations and chambers (TACs), while the second pillar looks to strengthen leadership within trade association and chambers. This will be done through education, by offering management courses for TAC leaders.
The third pillar, will look at enhancing productivity of TACs by optimising their resources through technology, as well as creating platforms for resource sharing. The fourth pillar will look at forging partnerships through cross-industry collaboration.
Thirty TACs have already committed their support to the Trade Association Transformation Map.
The TAC Management Handbook was also released at the congress. The handbook compiles some of the best practices in TAC governance and operations, as well as outlines services that TACs can provide their members, such as business conferences and overseas business missions.