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Singapore Budget 2019: SMEs Go Digital programme to be expanded

THE government will expand the SMEs Go Digital programme, said Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat on Monday.

The SMEs Go Digital programme was launched in Budget 2017. Since then, around 4,000 small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) have adopted pre-approved digital solutions.

Mr Heng said accountancy, sea transport and construction will now get their own industry digital plans (IDPs). More sectors will be added later. These plans are meant to guide SMEs on relevant digital technologies and skills training programmes. As of end 2018, IDPs have been developed for seven sectors: environmental services, retail, food services, wholesale trade, logistics, security, and media.

In addition, the government will expand the number and range of “cost-effective (and) pre-approved digital solutions”. This will be so SMEs can take on digital solutions in the area of artificial intelligence (AI), and cybersecurity.

Under a business grants portal, SMEs can search for such solutions and apply for the Productivity Solutions Grant for funding support for up to 70 per cent of the qualifying costs to adopt these solutions.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) will also jointly pilot a cross-border innovation platform for SMEs, known as the Business sans Borders. This platform is enabled by AI and is meant to help SMEs match with buyers and vendors globally.

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