Singapore’s wholesale sector is all set to receive strategic help in innovating and adopting technology in their processes, while expanding its global footprint. In a forward-looking move, 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 establish Singapore’s position as a global trade hub.
The refreshed industry transformation map (ITM) will be led by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) along with key industry stakeholders and other government agencies. The focus of Wholesales Trade ITM 2025 is on expanding traders’ global footprint, anchoring global traders’ presence in Singapore, and upskilling workers in areas of technology and sustainability.
Upskilling and scholarships to undergraduates
To grow globally competitive, the new ITM will help wholesale trade companies to develop sustainable products and redesign jobs to equip workers with skills for roles in digital and green-skill areas, such as big data analytics, programming and coding. EnterpriseSG will also work with global-oriented Singapore traders to offer scholarships to undergraduates under the Singapore-Industry Scholarship program from 2023. The program targets young Singaporeans who are keen to contribute to leading organizations in strategic sectors.
Diversification and the green economy
To support enterprises diversifying their businesses, EnterpriseSG will encourage more enterprises to grow their exports and enter new markets by facilitating partnerships with business-to-business e-commerce players, such as CombineSell, SELLinALL and Synagie, which can work with them to list and sell their products across multiple overseas e-marketplaces.
The growth and development of the green economy and sustainability movement has led to traders diversifying into sustainable products, such as biofuels and plant-based protein, to maintain their competitive edge. The ITM 2025 aims to build Singapore as a regional carbon services hub.
The idea is to drive the growth of the carbon services ecosystem in Singapore by encouraging existing firms and new entrants to expand their capabilities and use Singapore as a regional gateway for carbon services.
More digital help on way
More than 8,000 wholesale trade companies have adopted digital solutions by 2020. Such transformation has helped the wholesale sector, but its overall strategy still needs to evolve to keep up with the times, said Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong.
Explaining how the wholesale trade industry must change to keep up with the economic landscape, Mr. Yong said, “recent global developments have caused global supply chain disruptions and acutely driven up costs. The push towards digitalization has accelerated globally, which means we need to deepen our adoption of digital solutions to stay ahead of the competition.”
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. The initiative will support high-growth potential businesses to become Singapore Global Traders (SGTs) through programs, such as Scale-up SG and Enterprise Leadership for Transformation, which help 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.
First introduced in 2017, the Wholesale Trade ITM has guided the sector to deepen its capabilities in digitalization, innovation and internationalization, and build a strong talent pipeline of Singaporeans in the sector. Since then, the sector has grown to account for 18% of Singapore’s GDP in 2021 from 15% in 2015.