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Budget 2020: S$8.3 billion to help companies transform and grow over the next three years

SINGAPORE — As a small, open economy, Singapore must continue to strengthen its partnerships around the world and within Singapore, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget speech on Tuesday (Feb 18).

The Government will set aside S$8.3 billion over the next three years, including sums that were allocated in previous years, to help companies — from start-ups to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — to transform and grow.

The Government will set aside S$8.3 billion over the next three years, including sums that were allocated in previous years, to help companies — from start-ups to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — to transform and grow.

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SINGAPORE — As a small, open economy, Singapore must continue to strengthen its partnerships around the world and within Singapore, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget speech on Tuesday (Feb 18).

Singapore has an extensive network of economic links with the rest of the world and the Republic is also enhancing its digital connectivity to create new value. 

To make the most of these global links, partnerships within Singapore must also be strengthened to “bring good ideas to global markets”, said DPM Heng. 

To this end, the Government will set aside S$8.3 billion over the next three years, including sums that were allocated in previous years, to help companies — from start-ups to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — to transform and grow.

DEEPENING INDUSTRY-WIDE CAPABILITIES

Even as enterprises compete to differentiate themselves, they must come together to solve common challenges, said DPM Heng. 

To help Trade Associations and Chambers scale up and raise the capabilities of their industries, the following programmes will be introduced: 

  • A pilot Executive-in-Residence programme by Enterprise Singapore to fund more than 10 Trade Associations and Chambers covering all sectors of the economy. This will allow the hiring of experienced executives and provide expert advice to enterprises in their industries.

  •  A new Heartland Enterprise Upgrading Programme will be launched this year by Enterprise Singapore to support the Merchants’ Association to drive transformation of heartland enterprises.

SUPPORTING DEEP-TECH START-UPS

Speaking about Singapore’s startup scene, DPM Heng said that the ecosystem for startups here was vibrant with about 3,800 such companies and 150 capital funds investing in startups here and in the region.

The Startup SG programme has helped startups to get their ideas off the ground and through co-investment schemes like Startup SG Equity, some S$560m in private sector funding has been raised over the last four years. 

This year an additional $300m will be set aside under Startup SG Equity for deep-tech startups  — which deal with emerging technology that include pharmbio and medtech, advanced manufacturing and agri-food tech —  to get better access to capital, expertise and industry networks.

HELPING ENTERPRISES GROW

Beyond startups, both new and established enterprises are seeking to grow. 

DPM Heng announced that the Government will enhance support for these enterprises through an Enterprise Grow Package. 

The package aims to help enterprises identify business needs, adopt pre-approved digital technologies and take the first steps to enter new markets. 

This package will include:

  • The launch of the GoBusiness platform which is a single touchpoint for enterprises to transact with the Government digitally.

  • Expanding the SMEs Go Digital programme. Mr Heng said there will be Industry Digital Plans or equivalents across all 23 industry transformation map (ITM) sectors which will allow enterprises to access pre-approved digital solutions.

  • Enhancing the Market Readiness Assistance grant by expanding the funding support and coverage to include, for example, Free Trade Agreement consultancy services.

STRENGTHENING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES

As enterprises seek to grow, they will also need to strengthen their leadership and management capabilities.

To do so, the Government will introduce an Enterprise Transform Package, said DPM Heng. 

This will include the launch of the Enterprise Leadership for Transformation Programme by Enterprise Singapore to support business leaders of promising SMEs.

The Government aims to support business leaders of 900 enterprises in business transformation with training and mentorship over the next three years by collaborating with Institutes of Higher Learning, banks and industry experts, he said.

Related topics

Budget 2020 SG Budget 2020 startups enterprise

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