Local companies seeking out new areas of opportunity would do well to look at Singapore’s neighbouring economies in Southeast Asia and India, said minister for trade and industry (industry) S Iswaran at the organised by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore on Friday (April 21).
In his opening address, Iswaran said that there is a number of new initiatives in place to support companies that are taking steps to expand overseas.
One of the these is that through its economic agencies, principally IE Singapore, the government is developing new tools and initiatives to equip companies to make the most of the business opportunities in the region. “To better address the opportunities in consumerism and urban infrastructure in the region, our agencies will be stepping up their activities and resources in Indonesia and the Philippines this year,” he said.
Second, beyond helping to secure projects overseas, IE Singapore is also working with companies to develop their capabilities in internationalisation.
Finally, IE Singapore is facilitating partnerships between the Confederation for India Industry (CII) and three of Singapore’s Institutes of Higher Learning through an MOU, to help undergraduates access internship opportunities with CII’s member companies across India. This is expected to help build a pipeline of India-ready talent that can support companies as they expand in this important market.
Iswaran explained: “It complements what we are already doing in Southeast Asia and is also a way to augment the work of our institutes of higher learning, to make sure our students, even as they start their learning journey from secondary school through university, have the opportunities to go into the region, understand the culture, assimilate some of the value systems so that they become truly effective and region-ready players when they enter the work place.”
New initiatives to help companies engage fast-growing sectors such as the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) introduced in Budget 2017, will see Singapore companies and start-ups connect with partners and multipliers in major innovation hubs and demand markets around the world.