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Pilot scheme to facilitate high-potential tech firms' Employment Pass applications

UNDER a new pilot programme, qualifying technology companies will have Employment Pass (EP) applications of their core team members facilitated, to help them get the talent needed to set up new teams here, the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) announced on Tuesday.

Expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2019, the two-year pilot of Tech@SG aims to help tech firms grow in Singapore and expand the region, by giving them access to the business networks and talent that they need. It is aimed at high-potential companies in growth areas such as digital, medtech, biotech, cleantech, agritech and fintech.

Tech@SG will connect such firms to Singapore's innovation and startup ecosystem, and facilitate the entry of "core team members". The teams which such firms set up here would include professionals with skills in "frontier technology" such as data science, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and the Internet of Things.

"Qualifying companies will have the Employment Pass (EP) applications of their core team members facilitated under the programme," said the EDB and ESG in a press statement, without elaboration.

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"Tech@SG will not only give tech companies the confidence to hire the tech talent they need, but will also create exciting opportunities for Singaporeans to work in globally competitive teams alongside top engineers and entrepreneurs from all over the world," said EDB managing director Chng Kai Fong. "This will enable Singapore to upskill our local talent pool to root more technology companies here and grow the sector."

ESG assistant chief executive officer Edwin Chow said: "Our high-growth companies with technology needs will benefit from the expertise that global tech talent can bring." This is especially the case for tech startups that need to strengthen their capabilities and scale up more quickly, he added.

"By leveraging Singapore's global connections, these companies will be able to rapidly seize market opportunities in Asia and beyond, creating economic activities and jobs here," said Mr Chow.