Singapore SMEs are top exporters in Asia-Pacific: FedEx survey

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A FedEx Express study has revealed that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in
Singapore were top exporters by revenue in the Asia-Pacific last year.

Singapore’s SMEs generated an average annual exporting revenue of US$1.75 million
(S$2.38 million), ahead of the US$1.21 million average recorded across countries in the
Asia-Pacific.

Singapore also held the top spot in the space of intra-regional exports with 78 per cent
exporting to other markets within the Asia-Pacific. The regional average was 70 per cent.
The study found that the digital economy continued to drive business growth of SMEs in
Singapore. Some 78 per cent of SMEs used e-commerce to boost export revenue, while 65
per cent used social commerce. More than half (57 per cent) used mobile commerce.

This trend is expected to continue, with growing optimism among SMEs to leverage the
digital economy through these three channels within the next 12 months.

However, even as a significant number of SMEs focus on international trade, many felt that
the outlook is becoming challenging.

The top three obstacles that SMEs face in exports come from customs procedures (52 per
cent), logistics (44 per cent) and foreign currency exchange issues (42 per cent).

According to Audrey Cheong, FedEx Express Singapore managing director:”Cross-border trade continues to flourish in Singapore, with mobile and social commerce platforms making
access to international markets much easier than ever. For that growth to continue, SMEs
must continue to remain agile in seeking out new innovations to ensure a strong supply chain
from end-to-end.”

The study was conducted between March and April 2018, with results based on interviews
with 506 senior executives from Singapore SMEs, among a total of 4,543 across nine markets in the Asia-Pacific.

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