SINGAPORE (Aug 16): The Infocomm and Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) today signed seven memoranda of intent (MoIs) with Singtel, M1, StarHub, DBS, OCBC, UOB and Hong Leong Finance under IMDA’s SMEs Go Digital programme.

This was announced by Yaacob Ibrahim, minister of information and communication, in his speech at Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SCCI) SME conference on Wednesday.

Under the MoIs which IMDA inked with the telcos, Singtel, M1 and StarHub will offer digital technology bundled services, which are to be packaged with IMDA’s pre-approved digital technology solutions, cybersecurity and data analytics tools and services as part of the programme.

Meanwhile, the four banks – DBS, UOB, OCBC and Hong Leong Finance – will allow SMEs access to financial instruments such as bridging loans when investing in building new capabilities.

The programme was launched in April, and aims to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) adopt digital technologies to boost growth and productivity.

“While it has only been four months since the launch of SMEs Go Digital, we have seen a very encouraging response with close to 200 SMEs adopting technology using 30 IMDA pre-approved solutions,” says Yaacob. 

“More than half [of those surveyed by SCCCI] indicated that they are stepping up to find opportunities in new growth markets, and to innovate, in the midst of their business challenges,” says SCCCI's president, Roland Ng, in his opening speech.

“On productivity efforts, 92% have adopted productivity improvement efforts, 5% more than last year. What is significant is that 89% saw that their efforts have borne results,” he adds.  

According to Yaacob, the telcos’ provision of technology bundled services will provide SMEs access to a one-stop service of comprehensive digital technology packages, and hence allow them to adopt multiple digital solutions simultaneously.

“IMDA will work closely with banks to guide SMEs that have specific technological needs to the pre-approved digital solutions under SMEs Go Digital, and reduce their barriers to accessing financing loans,” he adds.

“We believe that SMEs need to embrace technology to thrive in a Digital Economy. Through collaborations between IMDA and key industry partners, SMEs can easily access digital technologies and financing support to embark on their digitalisation efforts,” says Tan Kiat How, chief executive, IMDA, in a separate statement.