Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran reiterated the measures in place to support businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises yesterday in Parliament and emphasised that it is up to businesses to succeed as there is a plethora of support available for SMEs.
Iswaran said that the government can create platform for businesses, but it cannot make decisions for businesses, or pick winners.
While describing the government as “an important enabler,” Iswaran said: “We are in an inherently more uncertain environment, therefore the emphasis (is) on the broad range of capabilities I’ve outlined, and this broad scheme of measures that we have, are going to be the key platform to raise industries as a whole.”
While addressing the concerns, the minister said that those who are prepared to go further will receive more support.
Iswaran was addressing a point in the speech made by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leon Perera, who felt that Budget 2017 was a “missed opportunity” in building up local enterprises as an engine of value creation alongside multi-national corporations.
The Singapore Business Federation had also said after the Budget was announced last week that it was “disappointed” with Budget 2017’s short-term measures, mainly what they felt was an inadequate short-term support to lower business and compliance costs.
To help businesses go global, S$400 million has been set aside in grants. In this Budget, the S$600 million International Partnership Fund has been set up to co-invest with firms to help them expand overseas, Iswaran added.