Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at the Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA) Award Presentation Ceremony and Gala Dinner

Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at the Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA) Award Presentation Ceremony and Gala Dinner

Mr Kurt Wee, President, Association of Small & Medium Enterprises
Ms Lee Huay Leng, Editor in Chief, Chinese Media Group, SPH Media Trust
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen


1. Good evening. It is my pleasure to attend tonight’s award presentation ceremony organised by the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (ASME) in partnership with Lianhe Zaobao, and to present the awards to the 2020 and 2021 Singapore Prestige Brand Award winners. It is good to finally see everyone in person.

2. Tonight, we recognise and celebrate the achievements of many of our Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The past 2 years have been particularly challenging for businesses. Besides the border restrictions, supply chain disruptions and prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have been dealing with the impact of the war in Ukraine and heightened geo-political tensions.

3. This challenging backdrop makes the hard work of our local enterprises over the last 2 years, to press on, pivot and transform, all the more remarkable. I want to applaud this. Our enterprises have shown tremendous resilience amidst the challenging and constantly evolving environment. Many of them have even successfully entered new markets, created new products and solutions, and transformed the crisis into an opportunity of a generation.

Companies have done well to persevere and transform despite a crisis and tough external business environment

4. I am pleased to note that the Singapore Prestige Brand Award will be awarded to 38 local brands tonight, with 31 being first-time winners. These brands are setting the pace for innovation and transformation. They have dug deep to strengthen their core capabilities and evolved their service and product offerings. Let me briefly highlight three examples.

5. Many associate Singapore enterprises with the brand of trust, quality and integrity, and this will resonate especially well with heritage brands like Econ Healthcare. They have worked hard to build and maintain their reputation over the past 35 years, and this has also proven instrumental in their overseas expansion efforts in China and Malaysia. We have also seen established businesses like City Gas be deliberate to evolve their branding alongside their changing business and priorities – having recently rebranded to City Energy to reflect their commitment towards using more sustainable and pollution-free energy sources. In the food services sector, elemen has continued to reinvent themselves and develop new and exciting recipes that push the boundaries of meat-free dining. These are three examples, and I know that all 38 brands represented tonight have their own unique and inspiring story.

We must build and sustain a vibrant ecosystem of Singapore enterprises that are future-ready and can compete globally

6. The Government will partner enterprises like Econ Healthcare, City Energy, and elemen to chart the next bound of our economic development. At the MTI Committee of Supply earlier this year, I shared about our Enterprise 2030 vision, to build and sustain a vibrant ecosystem of Singapore enterprises that are future-ready and possess deep capabilities to compete globally. Under the Enterprise 2030 strategy, the government has committed a suite of measures to support the growth of high potential companies to become global champions and to strengthen the core capabilities of the broad base of local enterprises in key areas such as capability development, digitalisation, internationalisation and innovation.

7. We are committed to accelerating the growth of high potential local enterprises which are home-grown, provide leading innovative and globally competitive products and solutions to the world and have strong international presence and networks. I look forward to many of you working with Enterprise Singapore to realise your future growth ambitions to become a Singapore Global Enterprise.

The Government will continue to work closely with TACs to support businesses amid an uncertain business landscape

8. Besides working with individual enterprises, the Government will also deepen efforts to work with our Trade Associations & Chambers (TACs). TACs play an important role as multipliers to drive industry transformation, and MTI will support TACs’ efforts to uplift their capabilities, especially in digital adoption and leadership development, to serve their members better. For example, we recently announced the new Digi-TAC programme by SBF and SGTech to help TACs digitalise, and the upcoming SBF TAC Fellowship Programme to enable TACs to grow their leadership pipeline.

9. At this juncture, I would like to take this opportunity to thank ASME for your efforts to support local businesses. ASME, through their SME Centre, has served as a key touchpoint for local enterprises, and has supported more than 7,000 companies in their transformation efforts over the past two years. One such example is AOX (pronounced “A-O-X”), a homegrown manufacturing company that designs and supplies alkaline water dispensers. With the help of business advisors at SMEC@ASME, the company was able to integrate their backend processes seamlessly through the adoption of suitable solutions. This has enhanced their productivity, allowing them to expand their business lines. I thank ASME for your good work “for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs”.

Concluding remarks

10. Let me conclude. Singapore has come a long way in our fight against COVID-19. Despite the challenges, the last two years have also brought new opportunities and growth. It is time to set our sights further, plan for the longer-term as we put in place building blocks now to ride the economic recovery in the post-COVID world. In this effort, I look forward to a continued close partnership between our businesses, trade associations, and the Government, to position ourselves well for the long-term. Let us embrace continuous innovation, think outside the box, and transcend our constraints to seize emerging opportunities.

11. My heartiest congratulations to all the Winners this year, who have exemplified this fighting spirit and gumption.

Thank you.

Contact Us Feedback