Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Pro-Enterprise Panel - Singapore Business Federation (PEP-SBF) Awards

Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Pro-Enterprise Panel - Singapore Business Federation (PEP-SBF) Awards

Mr Lim Ming Yan, Chairman, Singapore Business Federation (SBF)

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,


1. Good morning.


I am very pleased to be joining you today at the PEP-SBF Awards 2021, to celebrate the contributions of businesses and Government agencies towards strengthening the pro-enterprise spirit in Singapore.


Driving Transformation Together


2. The theme of this year’s Awards is “Driving Transformation Together”. There are three key elements to this simple theme.


3. First, regulators play an important part in driving change by keeping track of emerging trends and facilitating and supporting businesses who want to launch new and innovative products, or just to improve their business processes.


4. For example, in recent years there have been many novel foods being developed, such as laboratory-cultured meat and alternative proteins. SFA started engaging the scientific community and novel food companies a few years back on the possible approaches to strike a balance between facilitating innovation and regulating the safety of novel food. SFA launched the novel food regulatory framework in November 2019, to protect consumers while enabling Singapore to tap into the potential offered by innovative food solutions. SFA also started Novel Food Virtual Clinics to share their regulatory framework with companies. With a clearer understanding of SFA’s requirements, companies can proactively engage SFA at early stages of their research and development, and have greater clarity on the requirements and the process and therefore save time. SFA’s efforts have contributed to a thriving food tech startup ecosystem in Singapore.


5. Second, Government must be agile and nimble to respond to the rapid transformation around us. The ability to respond quickly to new developments has been a key strength for us in managing the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years.


6. HSA has been doing very important work behind the scenes to support our COVID-19 effort. For example, HSA introduced new initiatives such as the Provisional Authorisation framework and the Pandemic Special Access Route, to enable access to essential medical products such as COVID-19 test kits and vaccines, while maintaining high standards of safety to protect users. I am glad that HSA was able to facilitate and expedite the market entry of these lifesaving products by working closely with our local medtech and biotech businesses to launch their products and pave the way for these products to be exported to other countries.


7. The third key element is collaboration. Neither the Government nor businesses can build a pro-enterprise environment on our own. Over the years, our Government agencies have worked very closely together with industry partners and Trade Associations and Chambers on our shared vision of a facilitative business environment. This goes beyond feedback sessions, to co-creation of policies, initiatives and a thriving ecosystem of ideas and partnerships.


Collaborating with Industry Partners on GoBusiness


8. Over the last two years, an exciting project that we have been collaborating on is the GoBusiness platform. Some of you might have used it to apply for business licences, permits, or grants. For those who are not familiar, the GoBusiness provides integrated, and personalised access to government resources and services across all stages of the business journey – from starting a business, to running and growing a business. We have been progressively developing GoBusiness over the last two years. Today, we are ready to introduce the enhanced GoBusiness portal.


9. The enhanced GoBusiness portal incorporates feedback from more than 500 companies from different industries. For example, we designed a consolidated dashboard with the help of industry partners.  The dashboard provides individualised assistance and logs the status of each transaction so that users can easily keep track of the progress. I encourage more of you to send us your ideas and feedback, and co-create GoBusiness with us.




10. The message that I would like to leave all of you with is this. The Government will continue to work with the industry to create a pro-enterprise environment – one that facilitates innovation, promotes agility and nimbleness, and emphasises collaboration with enterprises. Regulations and processes are put in place to protect us, to ensure high standards of safety and quality. By working together, we can ensure that these regulations are not roadblocks, but checkpoints that we use to ensure that products meet our high standards before we introduce them to our Singapore market and beyond.


11. Thank you, and congratulations to all of the award winners today.

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