Singapore has had a strong focus on productivity enhancement in the last few years, but these investments will only pay off if there is enough market. As the Singapore population is relatively stable, growth has to come from markets abroad.
Enter IE Singapore, the government agency responsible for promoting international business to and from Singapore. IE Singapore is able to provide financial assistance to exporters in order to build their business and at the same tie, strengthen the country’s economy. It offers several programs, which will be discussed in detail below.
Market readiness assistance (MRA)
Under the MRA grant scheme, companies headquartered in Singapore can get 70% of certain third party expenses reimbursed, with a maximum of 20,000 SGD per year. This even applies for companies with foreign shareholders or with no or hardly any employees.
The MRA process
STEP 1: An application form must be acquired and filled out accordingly.
STEP 2: A quotation on costs from the third party you wish to appoint must be added.
STEP 3: Application form to be sent and will be reviewed for grant to be approved. This process is mostly done within 2 weeks.
Eligibility for MRA
Any small-medium sized enterprise can apply as long as:
- The headquarters of the company is based in Singapore. The idea is that revenue from additional export should be accumulated and be taxed in Singapore.
- The company must have an annual turnover of less than $ 100 million per year.
Global company partnership (GCP)
The GCP program is more extensive and is aimed at the somewhat bigger SME's, the threshold for annual turnover is 500,000 SGD.
The GCP process
STEP 1: IE Singapore consults with your company to better understand the business, business strategies, the products and services the company has to offer, and the company’s plans for growth pursued overseas.
STEP 2: Opportunities for business growth will then be identified by looking at potential sectors in different markets. The agency also tries to capture a clear understanding of the company’s capabilities and weaknesses.
STEP 3: Customized solutions will then be offered to the company in order to take the business further into the global market. An even broader range of activities than with MRA is eligible for support, such as stationing an employee abroad. The support can also range up to 70% of the costs.
Eligibility for GCP
In order to qualify for the grant, the company must:
- Have its headquarters based in Singapore.
- Have an annual sales turnover of at least $500,000.
- Have a minimum paid-up capital of $50,000.
IE does what it can to provide you the information you need on the market you are interested to venture into. Good general information can be gathered from the agency’s wide array of sources: market guides, insights papers, and online databases.
IE Singapore can also provide the company the right partners and expertise. In order to gain entry into a market and strengthen market presence, funding support under the GCP is essential.
Access to loan and capitals
In order to expand globally, capital is obviously a factor. IE Singapore has the credit enhancement schemes you need to set up your business overseas.
Grants are good initiatives by the government. It gives exporters a chance to develop their business venture and make it grow. Practically all Alliance experts activities are eligible to be reimbursed for 70% with these grants, for example our market research and our agent or distributor search activities.