Enterprise Singapore will be a one-stop help centre for companies of all sizes and at different stages of growth.
Speaking at its official launch yesterday, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran said: "Enterprise Singapore will work with a broad spectrum of businesses, from start-ups to SMEs and high-growth companies, and serve as the single point of contact for Singapore-based enterprises who are committed to growth."
He said the new agency, which is a merger of International Enterprise Singapore and Spring Singapore, will help companies upgrade, innovate, transform, adopt new technologies, improve productivity and expand overseas, but the support will be tailored to a company's circumstances, such as its state of growth.
While Enterprise Singapore's mission is critical to the success of Singapore's long-term economic strategy, its scope of work is wide - and the scale can be daunting because of the large number of enterprises involved, Mr Iswaran said.
"There is a limit as to how many of the over 200,000 enterprises that government agencies can directly engage," he added.
That is why Enterprise Singapore needs private-and public-sector partners - especially trade associations and chambers, unions and other stakeholders - to help "broaden the reach and magnify the impact of our industry transformation message".
While the new agency is essentially an integration of the functions of IE Singapore (to help companies go global) and Spring (to help develop SMEs), it is also a different approach to helping Singapore enterprises "against the backdrop of greater economic tilt towards Asia; the emergence of new technologies, especially digitisation; and an ageing population".
Enterprise Singapore will work with a broad spectrum of businesses, from start-ups to SMEs and high-growth companies, and serve as the single point of contact for Singapore-based enterprises who are committed to growth.
MR S. ISWARAN, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), on the role of new agency Enterprise Singapore.
CALL FOR PARTNERSHIPS
There is a limit as to how many of the over 200,000 enterprises that government agencies can directly engage.
MR ISWARAN, on why Enterprise Singapore needs private-and public-sector partners.
Mr Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, said the merger of IE and Spring is "a significant structural optimisation for our economic system from many angles". It provides a convenient one-stop agency for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to turn to for help.
He said SMEs have confidence in the leadership of Enterprise Singapore because its chief executive Png Cheong Boon, who used to head Spring and JTC Corporation, understands SMEs from the policy as well as business points of view.
"JTC has been very important to SMEs," Mr Wee said. "He (Mr Png) brings to the table a wealth of experience and expertise."
Singapore Business Federation chairman S.S. Teo also expressed confidence in Enterprise Singapore chairman Peter Ong, whom he described as "a staunch pro-enterprise advocate".
Mr Png yesterday spelt out how the new agency will help companies. Micro enterprises and SMEs that are upgrading for the first time will have easy access to advice, information and help through the SME portal. Assistance programmes will be simplified.
As for SMEs, the new agency will help them innovate and transform via agencies such as A*Star's research institutes and productivity centres, and through human capital and leadership programmes.