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July 10, 2007

IE to boost overseas business drive
Facing challenges of internationalisation, Singapore on June 10 launched several initiatives to enhance its companies' overseas competition.

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the government agency to promote the city-state's external economy, set aside 10 million Singapore dollars (about 6.6 million U.S. dollars) over the next four years as training fund to groom a pool of 2,000 individuals with in-depth knowledge of doing business in key emerging markets such as China, India, Vietnam and more recently, the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia.

Called the International Business Fellowship Program, it was an expansion of the former Asian Business Fellowship program launched by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The announcement was made by Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang at the International Enterprise Forum.

Another initiative announced by Lim was a virtual platform called "iadvisory" portal that allows Singapore companies to tap on the knowledge, networks and experience of over 120 international experts.
The minister called on local companies to quickly seize global opportunities and hoped these measures will help companies face the challenge of developing market knowledge and expertise when venturing overseas.

He also noted the other two key market challenges facing companies to succeed overseas, one is differentiating from overseas competition and the other is establishing effective market linkages.

The Singapore government has also launched some measures to help companies to tackle these problems. Lim also announced that a Chinese version of Buy Singapore online business matching portal will be launched on June 11, aiming to establish effective market linkages with Chinese market. Xinhua

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