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IE, Spring merge to form Enterprise Singapore

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IE Singapore and Spring Singapore will merge into one agency to better position the government to help homegrown enterprises grow and expand overseas.

INTERNATIONAL Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) and Spring Singapore will merge into one agency to better position the government to help homegrown enterprises grow and expand overseas.

The eventual goal of the new agency - called Enterprise Singapore - is to build a thriving community of Singapore enterprises that are competitive and future-ready, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a press release.

"Building on the established capabilities and networks of IE Singapore and Spring, Enterprise Singapore will seek to deepen its knowledge of industries' and companies' needs, expand its network within Singapore and overseas, as well as develop a more streamlined and comprehensive suite of assistance programmes to enable enterprise growth," the release said.

Presently IE Singapore is the government's trade promotion arm. It also helps local firms to expand abroad. Spring helps homegrown business to upgrade, grow and become more competitive.

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Enterprise Singapore will assume these roles when it's formally set up by the second quarter next year - and it will partner trade associations and chambers of commerce as well as educational institutions and unions to produce better results.

MTI's second permanent secretary Png Cheong Boon will be concurrently appointed as Enterprise Singapore's chief executive officer (designate).

MTI Minister (Industry) S Iswaran said that like private-sector players, government agencies must also evolve and reorganise as needed to better support Singapore businesses and prepare them for the future economy.

"The decision to move now and establish Enterprise Singapore will enable us to respond faster to the changes in the external environment; provide better, more seamless and effective support to our companies and industries; and grow stronger Singapore enterprises," he said.

Enterprise Singapore will also remain as the national body for standardisation, accreditation and legal metrology.

The MTI press release said that Enterprise Singapore and the Economic Development Board will be the two critical and complementary pillars driving and implementing development strategies for Singapore.

"Both will work closely together to drive more collaboration between MNCs, innovative startups, as well as large and small enterprises to reinforce each other's strengths, enhance the competitiveness of our industries and develop Singapore into a global trading hub," it added.

Spring's consumer protection role will be taken over by the Competition Commission of Singapore. This will bring under one roof the work of safeguarding fair trading and competition - like in countries such as Australia, South Korea and the US.