A new survey conducted by SME Magazine, reveals that boosting the engagement of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore could increase the country’s economic growth. SMEs in Singapore continue to grow, notwithstanding global economic uncertainties and a more challenging marketplace. “While the records set by the top 100 may not be representative of all SMEs, it dispels the myth that business has been bad for SMEs in general in Singapore”, says William Ng, group publisher and editor-in-chief of SME Magazine during the announcement of the survey results cum SME 100 awards ceremony. Among the top 100 companies, revenue grew 21.3 percent to an average of S$ 27.2 million, while profit grew by 63.5% to an average of S$ 2.3 million on the back of a recovery from the global financial crisis of 2011-2013. This is especially impressive given the projected 1 to 3 percent GDP growth for the whole country in 2016. The SME 100 surveyed 2,000 top SMEs in Singapore between February and April this year. A total of 292 companies responded to the programme, with the top 100 selected among the respondents based on quantitative criteria such as revenue growth and profit, and qualitative criteria such as business outlook, investment in training, and R&D efforts, to receive the SME 100 Awards. Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau provided the data on the participating companies while Nexis TS were the official auditors. Among the award recipients are CHASSasia (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Conergy Asia & ME Pte Ltd, IIA Technologies Pte Ltd, Sauter Singapore Pte Ltd, Sozoluz Clinique, Trendmaker Pte Ltd, Vanguard Fire Systems Pte Ltd and Yang Kee Logistics Pte Ltd. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS, BUSINESS SERVICES CONTINUE TO LEAD GROWTH This year’s list is dominated by industrial and commercial products manufacturers, and professional and business services providers, representing 21 and 20 percent of the awards recipients respectively. Ng said, “it is clear that even as we shift our focus to higher-valued production and research-driven industries, at the core of our economy is our industrial products sector. This, together with a strong showing by professional and business services providers, helped to keep the country’s above the water”. AEC A MAJOR CONCERN FOR SMES SMEs participating in the survey are both optimistic and cautious over the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC. “Many SMEs see the potential in being part of a larger economic community. This is less about the business regulations and tariff than it is about of the ‘softening’ of the regional markets due to greater awareness regionally for AEC. At the same time, many SMEs are concerned about the increased competition, and the associated risks of regionalisation”, Ng said.