A survey by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, revealed on October 21, found that 27 percent of all Singaporean small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a business involvement in Vietnam.

In Southeast Asian markets, Malaysia topped the list with 64 percent of all Singaporean SMEs and followed by Indonesia with 44 percent, Thailand with 35 percent, Vietnam with 27 percent, and the Philippines with 23 percent.

Among the 2,836 SMEs taking part in this year’s survey conducted by IE Singapore’s DP Information Group, 51 percent said they earned revenue from foreign markets, up from 46 percent in the 2013’s survey.

Even as more SMEs are venturing overseas, the proportion of international revenue they generate is falling. The percentage of SMEs generating less than 30 percent of their revenue overseas rose to 53 percent this year from 43 percent a year ago, while those earning more than 70 percent of their revenue overseas fell to 21 percent from 26 percent.

According to Chen Yew Nah, managing director of DP Information Group, cost and manpower pressures are forcing SMEs to rethink how they do business.

As many as 49 percent of SMEs are facing difficulty in hiring staff, 48 percent in high manpower costs and 31 percent in high rental costs.

About 51 percent said they will be relooking their business model over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 50 percent said they plan to increase their production capacity. Most are still looking at ways to optimise the use of manpower (54 percent) and a smaller number (28 percent) introducing automation.-VNA