Singapore government’s two statutory board – International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SPRING Singapore said on Tuesday they are merging into a single entity, in a move that will help local firms grow their businesses and expand overseas.
The new agency will be known as Enterprise Singapore, an entity that will help better address the needs of Singapore enterprises and strengthen their competitive edge.
According to S. Iswaran, the Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, “Startups will not only benefit in terms of the capability development support from SPRING, but they will also be plugged into IE’s international networks in fast growing regional markets.”
“In this digital age, where speed and scale are critical, this will put our startups in a much better position to succeed,” he added.
Following the merger, the combined entity will have about 900 staffs which will continue to work in their separate office locations due to their existing leases.
Png Cheong Boon, the 2nd permanent secretary for the Ministry of Trade and Industry will also be appointed as Enterprise Singapore’s CEO, having previously served as the chief executive of Jurong Town Corporation and SPRING Singapore.
Previously, SPRING helps startup ventures and SMEs with financing, technology, and management development; while IE Singapore promotes international trade and the internationalization of Singaporean firms.
“SPRING and IE have developed strong networks and deep capabilities in their respective functions,” Iswaran said. “Both agencies are doing good work and their efforts have had a material impact.”
“As we continue to drive industry transformation, this merger will enable us to respond more quickly and flexibly to changes in the economic environment, and position our industries for new growth areas,” he added.
IE has offices in over 35 cities, and in the first half of 2017 alone, helping more than 24,000 enterprises with overseas expansion. While over the same period, SPRING has helped to build capabilities in SMEs through projects that are expected to generate US$4 billion in value-add.
Meanwhile, Enterprise Singapore will work with trade associations and chambers, unions and educational institutions to develop more streamlined processes and provide a comprehensive suite of programs to facilitate enterprise growth.
The merger is said to be finalized in the second quarter of 2018.