SINGAPORE: About S$10 million has been given out by Enterprise Singapore to nine trade associations and chambers (TACs) as of the end of June as part of a capability upgrading scheme, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday (Aug 6).
More TACs are expected to tap on the scheme over the next few years, added Mr Chan in a written response to a parliamentary question from Nominated Member of Parliament Thomas Chua, who asked for an update of the Local Enterprise and Association Development-Plus (LEAD+) programme.
Introduced during Budget 2016, the LEAD+ programme encourages TACs to raise their internal competencies so as to champion industry transformation more effectively.
Earlier this year, it was consolidated into a single enhanced LEAD programme together with other grants for TAC initiatives.
With a budget of about S$115 million from 2016 to 2020, TACs can receive more help to strengthen their leadership and secretariat teams, improve organisational processes, as well as deliver new and value-added services to their members.
The enhanced LEAD programme also covers all areas previously supported under LEAD+, including the secondment of public officers.
Mr Chan said more than 10 public officers have been seconded to the TACs before Budget 2016 to drive the implementation of key programmes, such as the SME Talent Programme and SME Centres.
Since then, three more officers have been seconded to the TACs and more of such arrangements will be facilitated, he added.
With extensive business networks and an in-depth understanding of industry needs and growth opportunities, Mr Chan said TACs are able to complement efforts by government agencies to support and reach out to a wide pool of enterprises.
“Our TACs play important roles to help companies transform their operations, enhance their competitiveness and capture new growth opportunities in domestic and overseas markets.
“As we move into a new phase of economic development, we must continue to evolve and strengthen the partnership between the Government and TACs,” he said.