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Asia300

Singtel, Lazada launching online portal for SMEs

Marketplace to help businesses reach 3.5 million sets of eyeballs a month

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A Lazada employee fills an order at the company's warehouse in Jakarta, Indonesia.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Singapore Telecommunications, Southeast Asia's largest telecom company by market capitalization, is working with e-commerce player Lazada Singapore to create an online marketing portal for small and midsize enterprises.

Bill Chang, CEO of group enterprise at Singtel, said the portal will provide SMEs with a platform "to better scale their businesses in the e-commerce space."

Companies listed on the portal, dubbed the 99% SME marketplace, will have access to Lazada's logistics and payment gateway, as well as marketing support, according to a Singtel spokesperson. There will be no fees to sign up, but Lazada will charge commissions on sales transactions.

"Sellers who advertise will be able to reach over 3.5 million visitors monthly," said Alexis Lanternier, CEO of Lazada Singapore.

SMEs play an integral role in Singapore's economy -- to the extent that they account for 99% of registered companies in the city-state. With e-commerce on the rise, many of these businesses are turning to the internet to boost sales.

The Singaporean e-commerce market is projected to be worth $5.4 billion by 2025, according to a report by Temasek and Google. E-commerce is expected to make up 6.7% of all retail sales in Singapore by that year, behind Indonesia's 8%, the report said.

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