Singapore is strengthening its collaborations with trade associations and chambers (TAC) by setting aside $75 million over five years from 2011 to support the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) programme.
Singapore Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said the government will also support TACs in creating awareness and reinforcing member companies' unique propositions to foreign buyers and consumers.
He said, "So, for example, we will work with you to carry out strategic industry branding and promotion activities. Another area where the funding will come in useful is in helping the TACs to strengthen your institutional capabilities in management and project execution."
Launched in 2005, the LEAD programme is jointly managed by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SPRING Singapore, to enhance industry and enterprise competitiveness through the TACs.
Including this year's new projects, the LEAD programme has supported 28 TACs on 37 industry-upgrading projects worth some $120 million, benefitting close to 38,000 local enterprises.
Altogether, nine TACs have received their LEAD award from Mr Lim at the LEAD Forum on Tuesday morning with four receiving it for the first time.
They are Singapore Green Building Council, the Waste Management and Recycling Association, the Singapore Business Federation and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The other recipients are Singapore Manufacturers' Federation, Singapore Precision Engineering and Tooling Association, the Textile and Fashion Federation, the Singapore Furniture Industries Council and the Sustainable Energy Association.
These five are undertaking new projects after achieving good success in their previous LEAD projects.
"I am pleased to see more TACs stepping up their efforts to help their industries and enterprises upgrade capabilities and improve productivity. Such efforts would also bring their industries closer, so that they can work together to tackle challenges, and to compete and grow in the global economy," said Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore.
The LEAD Forum is a platform to recognise new LEAD awardees and share best practices among TACs.
Some 250 participants attended this year's forum, which has the theme of "Strengthening associations in uncertain economic times".