Speech by Minister Iswaran at the official launch of Enterprise Singapore

Speech by Minister Iswaran at the official launch of Enterprise Singapore


Your Excellencies, 

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, 

1. Good morning.  I am happy to join you this morning for the official launch of Enterprise Singapore.  

2. The formation of Enterprise Singapore is a milestone in Singapore’s economic development journey. The nurturing of a vibrant enterprise eco-system has always been an essential aspect of our economic strategy.  Our approach has evolved in tandem with our economy, the needs of industry and the external environment, with SPRING and IE Singapore playing significant roles.    

We need to adapt and sharpen focus on enterprise development amidst the rapidly changing environment

3. Looking ahead, we must build on this effort to prepare ourselves for the future economy against the backdrop of a greater economic tilt towards Asia; the emergence of new technologies, especially digitalisation; and an ageing population. 

4. The confluence of these trends calls for a different approach in working with our enterprises to help them harness technology, deepen capabilities and seize new opportunities in regional and international markets. In this dynamic environment, our companies must have the capacity to respond nimbly, innovate and internationalise, often concurrently because these pursuits are deeply intertwined and mutually reinforcing.   

5. That is why we decided that it was necessary and timely to merge the functions of IE and SPRING to form Enterprise Singapore. This re-organisation also underscores the Government’s own commitment to stay nimble by reviewing its programmes and processes, and where necessary, re-structure its agencies, to support the growth of our enterprises. 

Enterprise Singapore will adopt an enterprise-centric approach, providing differentiated programmes and support according to a company’s stage of development

6. Given our varied enterprise landscape with diverse needs, Enterprise Singapore will adopt an enterprise-centric approach, providing differentiated programmes and support according to a company’s stage of growth, the industry in which it operates, and its overseas markets of interest.

7. To this end, Enterprise Singapore will work with a broad spectrum of businesses, from startups, to SMEs and high-growth companies, and serve as the single point of contact for Singapore-based enterprises who are committed to growth.  Enterprise Singapore will support upgrading, innovation and business model transformation to capture new revenue streams; promote digitalisation, automation and adoption of new technologies to improve productivity and overcome resource constraints; facilitate expansion into overseas markets; and strengthen leadership and management capabilities.

8. Enterprise Singapore will continue the efforts to develop our system of industrial standards and ensure consumer product safety to build trust in Singapore's products and services.  Enterprise Singapore will also enhance our international links to establish Singapore as a leading and vibrant startup and trading hub. 

Industry transformation requires the involvement of all stakeholders, and Enterprise Singapore will need to work closely with its key partners

9. Enterprise Singapore’s mission is critical to the success of Singapore’s long term economic strategy. The scope of its work is wide and the scale can be daunting given the large number of enterprises. There is a limit as to how many of the over 200,000 enterprises that Government agencies can directly engage.      

10. To succeed, Enterprise Singapore will thus need to work closely with private and public sector partners and have their full cooperation. That is why we have stressed the importance of partnerships with Trade Associations and Chambers, unions and other stakeholders; they can broaden the reach and magnify the impact of our industry transformation message, thereby enhancing the collective competitiveness of our industries.

11. Our TACs and unions, many of whom are represented here today, are valued partners of Enterprise Singapore. You are close to our companies and workers, and understand the needs of your respective sectors and industries. Besides providing useful feedback, you have helped propagate the message of change, and encouraged many companies and workers to take decisive action. As Enterprise Singapore embarks on this new endeavour, I urge you to sustain this partnership and work closely with Enterprise Singapore to transform our economy, scale up our enterprises, and create good jobs for our people. 

12. I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous effort of all members of the Enterprise Singapore team, who were previously from IE Singapore and SPRING. As you can well imagine, the integration of two large well-established entities is a mammoth task because cultures, systems and teams have to be integrated. Throughout this process, you have been steadfast and united, determined to ensure a smooth transition. Thank you for your hard work.   


13. To conclude, Enterprise Singapore, as a single enterprise development agency, will be well-positioned to provide the holistic support that our businesses need to develop deep capabilities, robust internationalisation strategies and strong partnerships with industry stakeholders. 

14. Enterprise Singapore will work closely with all stakeholders to enhance the competitiveness of our industries, grow stronger Singapore companies, and nurture a vibrant enterprise eco-system to seize growth opportunities in the future economy. 

15. We look forward to a productive and dynamic collaboration with our valued partners in the business community, as we strive to take Singapore’s economy to greater heights. I wish Enterprise Singapore and all stakeholders every success in this important endeavour. 

16. Thank you.
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