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Enterprise Singapore to replace IE Singapore and Spring Singapore
A brand new entity called Enterprise Singapore is to be formed with the merger of the two key government agencies, IE Singapore and Spring Singapore, under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran announced at the official opening of Singapore Business Federation's (SBF) new premises on Sept 5 that IE Singapore and Spring Singapore will be merged to form Enterprise Singapore.
The new agency will be better positioned to help Singapore companies develop capabilities, innovate and seize international opportunities in the next phase of the country's economic development.
"In its Budget 2015 and 2016 recommendations, the SBF-led SME Committee (SMEC) called for the establishment of a single SME authority to champion SME development and drive the SME agenda across the government," said SBF CEO Ho Meng Kit.
"SBF had also in its SBF Position Paper for a Vibrant Singapore released in early 2016 recommended for the appointment of a Minister to provide political leadership for a whole-of-government approach to the development of local enterprises."
This upcoming merger between IE Singapore and Spring Singapore is in line with the intent of these recommendations.
Expressing support for this move, SBF chairman S S Teo said: "SBF strongly welcomes and supports the merger between IE Singapore and Spring Singapore to form Enterprise Singapore. This is a move in the right direction and sends an important signal that the government is responsive to the changing needs of businesses.
"It is also very timely, given the repositioning of SBF as a growth platform for the business community to come together to not only help itself, but also to work with our government to co-create solutions to enhance our country's economic value and prosperity."
Agreeing with Mr Teo, SMEC chairman Lawrence Leow said: "On behalf of all SMEs, I applaud the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the initiative to merge Spring Singapore and IE Singapore to form Enterprise Singapore, so as to better support companies and ensure more tightly coordinated enterprise development efforts.
"I am glad that Enterprise Singapore will take an inclusive approach to nurture local companies so that they will continue to be assisted in capability development and in going overseas. I look forward to an ecosystem where our companies, big and small, help one another to grow anywhere in the world. SMEC will continue to partner and work closely with government agencies to help our enterprises transform and expand overseas".
The TAC Compact, an SBF-led initiative, aims to unify Singapore-based Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) into an alliance in the belief that working together, they can raise their members' and Singapore's economic value and prosperity.
"The goal of the TAC Alliance is to strengthen the working relationship between Singapore TACs and business groups as strategic partners and collaborators to further the interests of their respective members," said Mr Ho.
SBF will act as a platform for the Singapore TAC Alliance and be the repository of the Compact, he added.
Key Principles of collaboration
- Each individual organisation is an effective body to help its members.
We understand the needs of our members and will seek constructive collaborations to help our members thrive.
- By working together, we can be an even stronger enabler for the business community.
We recognise that business issues will become increasingly complex in the future and may stretch our ability to deal with them as individual TACs. We believe that by working together, we will increase our capabilities and become an even stronger enabler to support the growth of the business community.
- We will work to support each other.
We believe that by working together, combining resources and reducing duplication of services and activities, we will enable better economies of scale and scope to achieve more fruitful outcomes for our members. We recognise the strength of each other and will strive for stronger partnership.
- We believe that the respective secretariats play an important role in helping to achieve a strong TAC sector.
We will work together to increase the competencies and capabilities of our secretariats and facilitate the exchange of experiences and learning points.
Scope of collaboration
SBF will operationalise the cooperation among members of this Alliance through a committee under the SBF Council. For a start, collaboration among Alliance Members may include the following:
- Research/insights and advocacy on important national and international issues that impact business and the economy.
- Coordination and facilitation of internationalisation efforts among TACs to help our members grow their businesses in overseas markets.
- Work together outside Singapore to enable a conducive environment for our trade and investments in key markets.
- Work together to transform and enable our members to be strong and viable enterprises.
- Support the sharing of best practices among secretariats, and where applicable, facilitate training in association management skills to help them improve their capabilities.
Founded by SBF in 2013, SBF Foundation is an independent charity with Institution of Public Character status, envisioned to be a collective foundation of the business community.
"The foundation focuses on championing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well as promoting the welfare and employability of disadvantaged persons," said Mr Ho.
To further the CSR cause, SBF Foundation partners the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre on Company of Good, which helps companies gain a better understanding of their existing giving profiles, as well as to build their knowledge, capabilities and network. It plans to roll out a fellowship programme that will allow companies to begin and enhance their giving journeys.
In addition, it is partnering SG Enable to establish "An Inclusive Index for Persons-With-Disabilities (PWDs)", which is a structured framework that allows for a more holistic measurement of employers' inclusiveness, in their efforts to hire PWDs. SBF Foundation has also partnered New Hope Community Services to create a job support and retention programme to enhance the long-term employability of the homeless.
On SBF Foundation's future plans, its chairman Theresa Foo said: "We are committed to continually explore new strategic partnerships to fulfil our mission to encourage, enable and enhance the contributions of the business community to the social, vocational and educational upliftment of all in Singapore. We would like to urge SBF member companies and the business community to come forward and provide opportunities for our beneficiaries."
Members of the TAC Alliance
- The Association of Banks in Singapore
- The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore
- Association of Small and Medium Enterprises
- The Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore
- British Chamber of Commerce
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore
- China Enterprises Association
- European Chamber of Commerce, Singapore
- French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore
- Global Compact Network Singapore
- Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Singapore
- Korean Chamber of Commerce (Singapore)
- Latin American Chamber of Commerce
- New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (Singapore)
- Restaurant Association of Singapore
- Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore
- Singapore Business Federation
- The Singapore Contractors Association Limited
- Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Singapore Furniture Industries Council
- Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce
- Singapore Hotel Association
- Singapore International Chamber of Commerce
- Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation
- Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Singapore Manufacturing Federation
- Singapore National Employers Federation
- Singapore Retailers Association
- Singapore Shipping Association
- Vietnam Chamber of Commerce