The chief executive of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is stepping down at the end of the month.
Mr Teo Eng Cheong will join Temasek-linked urbanisation consultancy Surbana Jurong as chief executive of its international operations.
Deputy chief executive Chua Taik Him will stand in as the trade agency's acting CEO from Jan 1 until a new boss is found.
Surbana Jurong group chief executive Wong Heang Fine told The Straits Times yesterday that Mr Teo will spearhead its efforts to expand internationally. "We want to further establish our presence in Asia and Africa while seeking out new growth markets in South America and the Middle East," he said.
Mr Teo, 49, is changing paths after 23 years in government. In his five years at the helm of IE Singapore, he helped expand Singapore's presence in emerging markets and increased the number of local firms involved in government-to-government projects, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry in a statement.
The agency has helped 31,000 firms this year, up from 28,000 last year, Mr Teo told a briefing yesterday. Over 80 per cent of them are small and medium-sized enterprises. Resources went into providing customised long-term strategic support to about 3,400 companies which have set up an overseas presence. Another 7,400 firms used IE's grants and financing schemes to take the first steps overseas.
In total, IE gave out $49 million this year through the Market Readiness Assistance Grant and Global Company Partnership Grant, up from $44.1 million last year.
The agency also facilitated 415 projects with companies overseas, up from 342 last year. Mr Teo's focus was on projects that would help firms grow strategically.
"We put the level up one notch to say that we want to know a company's long-term plans, strategic plans and out of so many things you want to do, what is most impactful to the growth of the company? Because it is not about a once-off project but building up a capability for the future," he said.