THE government will continue to provide strong support for restructuring. Meanwhile, companies have to actively seek growth opportunities through innovation and internationalisation.

Speaking at the 28th annual Singapore 1000, SME 1000, and Singapore International 100 Awards Ceremony on Friday night, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Teo Ser Luck, noted that there are "positive" signs that firms are seeking these growth opportunities.

They have also actively tapped on government grants and schemes to help them stay ahead.

To date, more than 22,000 companies have benefited from the productivity initiatives introduced by the National Productivity Council (NPC), which has supported the training and upgrading of workers, and the adoption of technology and infocomm solutions.

In 2013, 53,000 companies took advantage of the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) to help them defray the costs involved in capability upgrading.

Citing DP Information Group's 2014 SME Development Survey, Mr Teo noted that 75 per cent of SMEs are pursuing innovation of some form, with an increasing proportion of SMEs investing in technology.

The same survey also found that the proportion of SMEs planning to expand overseas rose from 14 per cent in 2013 to 20 per cent in 2014, indicating increasing interest in internationalisation.

"Singapore celebrates our 50th year of independence this year. We have thrived and prospered as a nation in large part because of the ingenuity and 'can-do' spirit of our entrepreneurs. As we continue on our journey of economic restructuring, I have faith that this 'can-do' spirit will see us through to a successful conclusion," Mr Teo said.

The awards are ranked and published by DP Information Group, and co-produced with EY. The key sponsors are ANZ Singapore and DHL Express Singapore.