SINGAPORE - Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said Singapore still has many opportunities to build on despite the global slowdown with technology in particular opening up possibilities.
Mr Heng told the Enterprise 50 (E50) Awards gala dinner on Tuesday (Nov 26): "Our diversity continues to be our strength."
He added that while companies innovate with technology, Singapore can work to harness new opportunities overseas.
"Despite the global economic slowdown, the long-term prospects and vibrancy of Asia and South-east Asia in particular are promising."
He added that Singapore has a strong spirit of enterprise, a point underscored by the awards themselves.
The highly anticipated annual event, held this year at Resorts World Convention Centre, celebrates the top 50 privately-held local companies.
The awards, now in their 25th year, aim to recognise local businesses for their accomplishments, innovative spirit and sustainable business models.
Agorae, which provides business process services, clinched the top honours while SoilBuild, an integrated real estate developer, was second, followed by Valency International Trading, an international commodity trading house based in Singapore.
Mr Laurent Junique, chief executive of TDCX, which operates under Agorae, said: "It is an incredible honour for Agorae to be recognised as the top home-grown business in 2019.
"Being part of this exclusive group in Singapore will certainly boost our confidence as we expand our business overseas, and continue to transform to stay ahead in this ever-changing economic landscape."
The 25th anniversary of the awards was marked by a special Digital Economy honour, which was given for the first time to a business identified as "a future billion-dollar company".
M-DAQ, a decade-old local fintech start-up, received the accolade for its "highly scalable and profitable business".
The E50 Awards are jointly organised by accounting organisation KPMG Singapore and The Business Times and sponsored by OCBC Bank.
Business Times editor Wong Wei Kong said: "The winners of this year's awards exhibited outstanding innovation, market presence and excellent productivity amongst other ideal qualities. We hope that these winners will go on to achieve greater successes and inspire other businesses as well."