Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore will be given more assistance to upgrade themselves and adapt to the new economy, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said.

The Singaporean PM reassured SMEs that the Government would do its utmost to help them overcome difficulties they were facing, such as tighter foreign worker policies.

According to the PM, Government’s assistance would be done not just at the national level - through tax rebates and funding to increase productivity, but also at the ground level.

“On the ground, we are reaching out to SMEs, understanding their needs, and helping them access Government schemes,” he said on January 4.

Singaporean government has introduced a scheme to offer businesses one-stop access to Government assistance (SME Centres). It has set aside about 30 million SGD to run the SME Centres over three years, from April 2013 to March 2016.

There are about 160,000 SMEs in Singapore, accounting for about 99 percent of all enterprises in the City-State, employing 7 out of every 10 workers and contributing nearly half of national GDP.-VNA