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2006 SME survey to address overseas competition, FTAs

Channel NewsAsia, Singapore

2006 SME survey to address overseas competition, FTAs

By Jeana Wong, Channel NewsAsia

27 March 2006

SINGAPORE: This year’s SME development survey will take on a different focus.

The annual study will delve deeper into concerns among Singapore’s small- and medium-sized enterprises which are related to increasing competition overseas and the impact of free trade pacts.

The annual survey is being conducted by DP Information Group and is aimed at helping local companies devise and adopt better competitive practices.

The survey is supported by both the public and private sector.

DP says it wants to assess how local companies are handling issues related to legal and trade structures, and human resource management overseas.

One key issue facing SMEs is talent.

They are seen as having to compete go head-to-head with the big boys when it comes to hiring workers both for local and overseas projects.

Said Janet Young, senior vice president and head of commercial banking, HSBC, "One of the key issues when we always speak with some of our customers is how do they cultivate an issue about talent management and also in securing a good base and good pool of middle and top management in the company. I think that’s actually a challenge for a lot of SMEs, particularly now they have to compete with the bigger companies who are also expanding their labour force to take advantage of the improved economy."

Results of the survey are due to be released in September. - CNA /ct