SINGAPORE (Feb 11): National budgets support growth. In Singapore, much has been allocated to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), and all signs are pointing to even more to come in this year’s Budget as businesses struggle with the challenges of slowing growth.

SMEs in Singapore account for 99% of the country’s business activity and generate half of its GDP. Over the past decade, there have been consistent calls for support of the sector, whether to help it manage the fallout of the global financial crisis, alleviate the burden of rising labour and materials cost; or to boost productivity and competitiveness. Now, with a limited domestic market, there is much pressure on SMEs to venture overseas in pursuit of further growth.

The government has responded generously. There is a variety of grants, tax relief and incentives, and government-financed programmes available to SMEs.

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