IE Singapore and SPRING to merge into single entity

The Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore (MTI) has unveiled plans to merge International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) and SPRING Singapore. The new entity will be called Enterprise Singapore and aims to help local businesses grow and go international.

According to a press statement, the move looks to integrate resources and capabilities of both agencies, and will be effective in the second quarter of 2018. This is also to better address the needs of Singapore companies, and strengthen their competitiveness in a rapidly changing global economic landscape.

Meanwhile, Png Cheong Boon, second permanent secretary for MTI, will be concurrently appointed as the CEO designate of the new entity. Currently, both agencies have a common focus in growing local businesses. While IE Singapore works to bring local companies global, SPRING focuses on building the capabilities of startups and SMEs.

SPRING also develops standards for Singapore products and services, and is responsible for consumer protection. Following the merger, the Competition Commission of Singapore will take over SPRING’s existing role of consumer protection.

In a report by TODAY, an MTI spokesperson said that a total of 960 employees will be affected by the move, but no lay-offs will be expected. Additionally, there will be new roles, job scopes and opportunities for staff.

Marketing has reached out to MTI for additional comment.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said during a speech that it is important for the ministry to create a vibrant enterprise ecosystem where Singapore companies can thrive. This includes having the dexterity to respond nimbly to technological and business model disruptions.

“As a key enabler, government agencies must also evolve and reorganise as needed, to better support our businesses and prepare them for the future economy,” Iswaran explained.

He added that the decision to establish Enterprise Singapore now will enable a faster response to the changes in the external environment. It also looks to provide better, more seamless and effective support to local companies and industries, as well as grow stronger Singapore enterprises.

Moving forward, Enterprise Singapore and the Economic Development Board (EDB) will be two critical and complementary pillars driving and implementing development strategies for Singapore’s future economy. According to the statement, both entities will “work closely together” to drive more collaboration between MNCs, innovative start-ups, as well as large and small enterprises. This is to enhance the competitiveness of varying industries and develop Singapore into a global trading hub.

This is not the first time the Singapore government has consolidated its agencies into new divisions. Earlier last year, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) reorganised the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and Media Development Authority (MDA) into two new agencies. These agencies are the Government Technology agency (GovTech) and the Infocommunications and Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The restructuring followed the launch of the Infocomm Media 2025 plan in August 2015, the first integrated industry development plan for the info-communications and media sectors. As a result of the re-organisation, Goodfellas Consultancy was appointed to develop the corporate brand identity for IMDA, a campaign which was eventually launched in October 2016.