PARLIAMENT

Smooth transition priority for IE, Spring S'pore merger

The top priority in the merger of IE Singapore and Spring Singapore is ensuring a smooth transition without disruptions to the agencies' ongoing work with companies, said Minister for Trade & Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran.

The new agency, Enterprise Singapore, will be able to work more effectively with industry players, with the aim of creating globally competitive Singapore companies with deep capabilities, he told Parliament yesterday.

The merger kicks in next year and will combine IE's expertise in helping firms venture overseas with Spring's skills in developing capacity. "We will have a stronger hand in the way we're able to work with enterprises and through trade associations and chambers to enable their growth and competitiveness to be strengthened," said Mr Iswaran.

For a merger that results in "one plus one being three, or (at least) more than two", the new agency needs to start off on a strong footing with a clear mission and able leadership, he said. It will work with firms of all sizes to help them grow overseas.

The appointment of Mr Png Cheong Boon, Second Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as chief executive (designate) of Enterprise Singapore was a deliberate choice, said Mr Iswaran. Mr Png has extensive experience working with companies in his previous roles at Spring Singapore and JTC.

Mr Iswaran said Enterprise Singapore and EDB "will form two critical and complementary government agencies that will help formulate and implement strategies for the development of industry clusters and enterprises".

Enterprise Singapore will also work closely with EDB to drive collaboration between multinational corporations, innovative start-ups and enterprises of all sizes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2017, with the headline 'Smooth transition priority for IE, Spring S'pore merger'. Print Edition | Subscribe