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Singapore Budget 2018 to continue efforts to help firms transform: Lawrence Wong

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THE upcoming Budget's focus on helping firms innovate and transform was highlighted yet again by Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, in a Facebook post on Thursday about his recent visit to local life-science manufacturer Esco Group.

Commending the company's transformation over the years and its current research and development efforts, Mr Wong said: "We want to facilitate more of such corporate-level innovation and transformation.

"Budget 2018 will continue with efforts to build deep capabilities in our firms and people, and forge stronger partnerships at all levels."

Mr Wong had visited Esco Group's facilities at Ayer Rajah Crescent on Wednesday, in the run-up to Budget 2018.

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Esco was formed in 1978, providing clean-room solutions for the then-booming electronics industry. In 2000, as market conditions changed, it shifted its focus to laboratory and biological safety equipment.

The firm later moved into the life sciences sector with the support of government schemes. These include the Capability Development Grant (CDG), which supports firms to build capabilities in areas such as product development and business transformation. Esco Group tapped this grant to develop design and manufacturing capabilities for a new range of pharmaceutical isolators - equipment that helps maintain sterile conditions.

Esco Group also has an investment arm, Esco Ventures, which invests in biomedical startups - including some that have received funding from the government's Startup SG Tech initiative.

"All in all, it's a remarkable story of a Singaporean company that continues to innovate, transform and grow, seizing new opportunities along the way," said Mr Wong.

For more stories on Budget 2018, click here.

SINGAPORE BUDGET 2018

For more stories, visit bt.sg/budget18
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