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Singapore Launches Wholesale Trade Industry Transformation Map 2025

The Minister for Trade and Industry has launched the Wholesale Trade Industry Transformation Map (ITM) 2025. The Wholesale Trade ITM 2025 sets forth growth strategies for the sector in support of the Trade 2030 vision to entrench Singapore’s position as a global trade hub.

Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) will lead, partnering with key industry stakeholders and other government agencies. The Wholesale Trade ITM 2025 aims to grow globally competitive Singapore traders, as well as anchor and expand global traders’ presence in Singapore.

It aims to deepen enterprises’ capabilities and diversify enterprises’ overseas presence and their range of products traded. In order to create new and exciting roles for Singaporeans, the ITM maps out strategies to uplift 12,000 local workers in blue-collar jobs and create more than 10,500 new PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) roles by 2025.

Wholesale Trade ITM 2025 Strategies

The Wholesale Trade sector will need to prepare for the next wave of transformation that will result from the given global developments like supply chain shifts and the increasing focus on sustainability. The Wholesale Trade ITM 2025 will focus on the following strategies:

Strategy 1: Diversification to capture new opportunities from overseas markets and develop sustainable products

A key growth driver for the Wholesale Trade sector will be the increasing trade flows with overseas markets. Enterprises seeking to diversify their businesses will receive support in growing their global footprint:

  1. EnterpriseSG will encourage more enterprises to grow their exports and enter new markets by facilitating partnerships with business-to-business e-commerce players which can collaborate with them to list and sell their products across multiple overseas e-marketplaces.
  2. Collaborations will be facilitated between enterprises and large global distributors that will enable enterprises to tap on their extensive overseas networks, channels, and in-market experience. 100 local SMEs are expected to benefit by 2025.
  3. Together with Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs), EnterpriseSG will enhance enterprises’ export-competitiveness in areas of trade compliance and trade in services capabilities, and utilisation of Singapore’s strong network of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

As the green economy and sustainability movement continues to grow, traders must diversify into the trade of sustainable products including biofuels and plant-based protein, to maintain their competitive edge. Establishing Singapore as a regional carbon services hub is another area.

Strategy 2: Anchor innovation activities by global traders

To diversify its trading network, EnterpriseSG will collaborate with industry stakeholders to create new opportunities for global traders to anchor their innovation activities in Singapore.

  1. This includes fostering closer collaborations between the Wholesale Trade sector and innovation ecosystem partners, such as IPI Singapore, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and research institutes, to promote more innovation and product development projects. For example, EnterpriseSG partnered Nanyang Technological University to launch the Singapore Agri-Food Innovation Lab in 2021 to catalyse innovation partnerships in agri-food.
  2. EnterpriseSG will also create new opportunities for global traders to collaborate with local traders, SMEs, and start-ups. For instance, through open innovation platforms, global traders can present challenge statements to gain access to new ideas, while start-ups and enterprises can offer new solutions.

Strategy 3: Grow globally competitive Singapore traders

The ITM 2025 will offer differentiated support to enterprises across different levels of competencies to help boost their capabilities and evolve into globally competitive homegrown traders.

  1. High-growth potential businesses will be supported in becoming Singapore Global Traders (SGTs) via programmes such as the Scale-up SG programme and Enterprise Leadership for Transformation, which offer them access to resources and expertise to scale up their businesses locally and overseas, deepen their research and innovation efforts, and enhance their human capital development.
  2. Specific subsegments with relatively lower productivity will also be targeted; for example those in the household goods and agriculture-related industries, and work with multipliers, such as TACs and SME Centres, to advance technology and automation adoption through productivity improvement projects at the wider industry level.

Strategy 4: Create new and exciting roles for Singaporeans through job and skills transformation

The ITM will build on the 2021 Wholesale Trade Jobs Transformation Map to continue to develop a strong and resilient workforce. Businesses can look forward to initiatives catered to different talent profiles.

  1. For the existing workforce in the sector, EnterpriseSG will work with WSG, SSG and IHLs to curate upskilling and reskilling programmes and implement job redesign initiatives for Singaporeans. In this way, the existing workforce will be able to take on higher value-added roles in the emerging fields of trade-related technology, compliance, and sustainability. These roles require in-demand digital and green skills including big data analytics, programming and coding, and carbon footprint management.
  2. To attract and grow a pipeline of young talent to join the sector, EnterpriseSG will also work with global-oriented Singapore traders to offer scholarships to undergraduates under the Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) programme from 2023. In addition, there is a range of SkillsFuture initiatives and Continuing Education and Training courses to support fresh graduates and mid-career workers who wish to join the Wholesale Trade industry.
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