Business

Minister reassures smaller companies about IE-Spring merger

The upcoming merger of government agencies IE Singapore and Spring Singapore will not leave smaller companies in the lurch, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann said yesterday.

The reassurance came at a convention for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) held by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), which pushed for a single pro-SME body in previous Budget recommendations.

IE and Spring will next year join forces as Enterprise Singapore to integrate capabilities and resources, it was announced last month.

The former backs Singapore companies' overseas ventures in line with its mission to promote international trade, while Spring supports start-ups and SMEs in areas such as funding and innovation.

"We are very cognisant of the wishes and the expectations that the business community has indicated to us," Ms Sim said while on a panel with various SBF representatives.

"We want to ensure that this formation takes place smoothly... In the process of doing this merger and transformation, we will ensure that services to our SMEs remain."

The chairman of the SBF-led SME Committee, Mr Lawrence Leow, said in his welcome address to the convention that his committee was "delighted" to see its single-body Budget recommendation realised. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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