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Singapore SMEs that export have the highest average revenue: survey

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 13:15

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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore that export to overseas markets generate the highest average annual exporting per-company-revenue of US$2.21 million compared with the global average of US$1.5 million, according to a global research study commissioned by FedEx Express.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore that export to overseas markets generate the highest average annual exporting per-company-revenue of US$2.21 million compared with the global average of US$1.5 million, according to a global research study commissioned by FedEx Express.

The report, titled Global Trade in the Digital Economy: Opportunities for Small Businesses, noted that exporting revenues account for as much as 87 per cent of Singaporean SMEs' overall revenue.

Intra and inter-regional exports in key sectors such as manufacturing, wholesale/retail and consumer products have helped local SMEs generate the highest average annual revenue of US$2.56 million globally.

Local SMEs are forecasting 28 per cent and 25 per cent average growth in intra and inter-regional exports next year, respectively. Some 23 per cent of the SMEs polled have increased the number of full-time employees in the past 12 months to help support business development.

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This is despite encountering increasing challenges such as stiffer competition from China, Malaysia and Hong Kong; increasing production costs; and competition from fellow local businesses.

Khoo Seng-Thiam, managing director, FedEx Express said: "As the research shows, engaging in cross-border trade to complement local business operations help Singapore-based SMEs maintain steady growth. And for the foreseeable future, one critical enabler that will assist them in gaining broader access to overseas markets is e-commerce."

In Singapore, 75 per cent of SMEs generated revenue via e-commerce transactions. Local SMEs also reported a 25 per cent increase in e-commerce revenue in the past 12 months, with 31 per cent of survey respondents predicting further growth in the next year.

The survey findings consisted of 9,000 interviews were conducted across 17 markets, with 512 coming from Singapore. Non-exporting SMEs were not part of the survey scope.

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