Uplifting trade associations and chambers in Singapore

Photo by Thirdman

At the Committee of Supply debate on MTI’s budget, Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, announced three new initiatives to help trade associations and chambers (TACs) build their digital and human capital capabilities to move in tandem with the emerging needs of the digital economy and a COVID-endemic world.

TACs play important roles as multipliers and conduits to help companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in their transformation and growth.

As Singapore continues adapting to living with COVID-19, TACs play an even more crucial role in strengthening the business ecosystem. To further strengthen TACs’ abilities to perform their roles effectively, TACs must build up their own capabilities.

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) is working with SGTech and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI), with support from Enterprise Singapore (ESG), to roll out three new initiatives for TACs in Singapore:  

  • Digitalisation of TACs (Digi-TAC) Programme: Digitalisation is a key enabler for business growth. To help businesses with their digital journeys, TACs must also digitalise and adopt solutions to remain relevant in this digital age. Jointly led by SBF and SGTech, Digi-TAC will support TACs’ digitalisation through adoption of pre-approved digital solutions curated for TACs and training of TAC secretariat staff to equip them with digital capabilities to enable them to support their respective industries and members. The programme is expected to launch in Q3 2022.
  • TAC Fellowship Programme (TFP) for Leadership Development: Honing relevant leadership skills will prepare current and future leaders to lead and propel their TACs and the industries they represent forward. Led by SBF, the TFP aims to upskill TAC secretariat leaders and groom promising secretariat staff to build up the pipeline of next generation of leaders. Successful candidates will be granted the fellowship award and undergo the TAC Leadership Development Programme (TLDP), specially developed by SBF and an Institute of Higher Learning. The programme is expected to launch in the second half of 2022
  • TAC Leadership Accelerator Programme (TLAP): Getting suitable talent is key in steering industry transformation. To support TACs in recruiting and developing the right talent, SBF, with support from ESG and SCCCI, will develop the TLAP, which aims to attract talented, highperforming mid-career professionals with industry-relevant experience to join the TAC sector. The programme is expected to launch in the second half of 2022.

Mr Wong Wai Meng, Chair of SGTech said, “In this wave of digitalisation of our economy and companies, TACs as champions of industry must walk the talk and themselves be digitally savvy. In this regard, SGTech as the association representing the tech industry will be partnering SBF to make available, solutions and programmes to upgrade TACs in Singapore so that they can better serve their respective industries to seize growth opportunities in the digital economy.”