The B2B e-commerce exports in Singapore are expected to reach $3.5 billion in 2026 from $1.4 billion in 2021, provided the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) accelerate their pace of using e-commerce to sell overseas. Currently, MSMEs are estimated to contribute 45 percent of Singapore's B2C value of e-commerce exports in 2021.
Among the key challenges currently faced by MSMEs in Singapore that need to be addressed are cost, regulation, information and capabilities. Over three-fourth (78 percent) of MSMEs surveyed cited a lack of clarity in import regulations as a major hindrance, as per a report by Amazon.
Bernard Tay, Head of Amazon – Global Selling, Southeast Asia stated, “We are on a mission to help MSMEs start local, grow global. Not only can MSMEs learn from Amazon, but they can also connect with Enterprise Singapore and our key partners to glean insights, additional support and an expanded network to grow globally.”
Amazon has conducted a 3-day virtual bootcamp event from 11-13 October, 2021 for SMEs from Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines to equip them with tools, resources and resources to seize cross-border opportunities.
Enterprise Singapore's (ESG) Executive Director (ICM & Digitalisation), Lee Yee Fung, also shared how the Singapore government and industry experts are working together to help local businesses unlock opportunities with e-commerce. (Enterprise Singapore is a government agency for enterprise development)
“Key players in the e-commerce landscape, such as Amazon, have an established ecosystem of solution providers and suite of resources to assist sellers in deepening their digital capabilities for market expansion,” said Yee Fung.
“We look forward to partnering more Singapore businesses to grow their sales avenues and international footprint through e-commerce," he further added.
Singapore MSMEs surveyed anticipate greater sales growth prospects overseas (35 percent) than at home (13 percent), with Asia Pacific countries – Malaysia, China, Australia, Indonesia and Thailand – seen as the top e-commerce export markets in five years by 2026.
87 percent of those surveyed locally agreed that e-commerce is critical for their ability to export, with top motivations including the ability to reach overseas customers, access to sales and marketing tools that are available on e-commerce marketplaces, and support for logistics and payments provided by these marketplaces. For 35 percent of surveyed Singapore MSMEs that export via e-commerce, more than half of their annual e-commerce sales were generated from abroad.
The growth opportunities will further accelerate if the other global e-commerce players like Amazon come to the fore to build a stronger SMEs ecosystem for the country.