A Helping Hand Abroad

Budget 2017 offers help to local firms looking to grow their businesses in overseas markets.

helping hand abroad

In the face of tough operating conditions and intensifying competition back home, one avenue of growth for local SMEs is to expand abroad. Scaling up globally is also another means to strengthen these enterprises as business becomes increasingly borderless.

With the support of government agency IE Singapore, many SMEs already have a presence abroad. To further support this international growth, the Government announced a series of assistance measures in this year's Budget.

International Partnership Fund

The Government will commit up to $600 million for a new fund that will co-invest with Singapore-based firms to help them scale-up and internationalise.

Enhancement of Internationalisation Finance Scheme (IFS)

IE Singapore’s IFS - which offers Singapore firms loans of up to SGD 30 million to fund their overseas expansion - will be enhanced. This involves catalysing private cross-border project financing to smaller Singapore-based infrastructure developers, by co-sharing the default risk of lower quantum non-recourse loans.

The Government will also catalyse financing for projects undertaken by larger firms in higher-risk developing markets, by providing a share of the needed sovereign risk insurance coverage. DBS is a participating financial institution in the IFS scheme.

Innovation Launchpads

Part of the umbrella Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) initiative unveiled in the Budget, facilities known as Innovation Launchpads will be set up in selected overseas markets. These are designed to create opportunities for Singaporean entrepreneurs to connect with mentors, investors, banking for foreign companies and service providers.

DBS also helps business owners gain access to networks of experienced entrepreneurs and mentors around the region through its BusinessClass programme, which features a digital app as well as targeted industry events.

Welcome Centres

These centres under the GIA will be established to allow innovative foreign companies to link up with Singapore partners to co-innovate, test new products in Singapore, and expand in the region.

SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative

This scheme will support companies to groom Singaporean leaders by expanding leadership development programmes. This includes sending promising individuals on specialised courses and overseas postings. For a start, the programme will target to develop 800 potential leaders over the next three years.

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