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Saturday, March 8, 2008

$12.6m more to help SMEs improve business practices

$12.6m more to help SMEs improve business practices
By Lynn Lee
March 8, 2008 ST

An Enterprise Development Centre - the fifth in Singapore - at the chamber's Stanley Street headquarters was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. -- ST PHOTO: ZAOBAO

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FROM a shop in Changi Village tailoring suits for British military officers, Ms Kavita Thulasidas' family business has bloomed into a high-end East-meets-West clothing store for fashionistas.
Eight months ago, the managing director of Stylemart in Selegie Road launched her first overseas venture - a spa in Bangalore, India.

Ms Thulasidas, 33, says the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's talks on doing business in India, and its network of lawyers and consultants came in useful when she was putting together her plan.

And it looks like the chamber will be able to do more for companies like Stylemart, as it now has a new facility to provide business and consultancy advice to small and medium enterprises(SMEs).

On Saturday, an Enterprise Development Centre - the fifth in Singapore - at the chamber's Stanley Street headquarters was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Mr Lee also announced a $12.6 million injection of funds by the Government, to fund the five centres' work over the next three years. The five are run by two trade associations and three chambers of commerce.

To date, the centres have helped around 14,000 of the 145,000 SMEs to improve business practices, in areas like human resources, finance and technological devlopment.

In his speech, Mr Lee also drew attention to how the SICCI could help both Singapore and Indian firms leverage on the countries' free-trade agreement .

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