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An Informal Cocktail Session with Mr. Philip Yeo

An Informal Cocktail Session with Mr. Philip Yeo
Date/Time: Sep 20, 2007 / 5.00pm
Venue: Dome, Art Museum

Globalization has brought Singapore into intense competition with large, low-cost emerging economies. In a volatile world, how can we successfully gauge the risks to move ahead? Getting the risk/reward balance right is a critical factor in success.
Government has two roles to play in Singapore, Inc.: an entrepreneur; and an enabler for the private sector. Government must be quick to identify and seize business opportunities, and yet enable the private sector to take the lead by relaxing rules that hamper flexibility and innovation. Both roles require entrepreneurial leadership. Risks must be taken to move the country forward.
In this informal cocktail session sponsored by Chesterton International Property Consultants Pte Ltd, chairman of Spring Singapore Mr Philip Yeo will touch on how breaking rules and taking risks are essential in growing the Singaporeeconomy.
Post-Event Writeup
At a members networking event, Mr Philip Yeo elaborated on how breaking rules and taking risks are essential in growing the Singapore economy. He spoke on how, to move the country forward, the government must nurture and grow the private sector, encouraging them to seize business opportunities.
Mr Yeo provided an overview of the small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) contribution to Singapore’s economy – 46% of Singapore’s GDP and 51% of local employment. He explained that few small enterprises survive the long-term. And to grow the Singapore economy, some of the challenges faced by the government are: ‘how to sustain broad-based economic growth?’ and ‘how to encourage innovation and creativity?”
He used the analogy of the oak tree to explain the government’s role in nurturing and grooming the private sector. He pointed out that every great oak tree started as a determined acorn. To have a forest of oak trees, we need to seed many (surviving) acorns. He said that the work of the economic agencies is to nurture and groom new enterprises and start-ups (likened to young acorns) to ensure their survival and growth, hence contributing to Singapore’s future economic prosperity (or a forest of oak trees).
Mr Yeo provided a breakdown of economic pyramid, with small enterprises (including young start-ups) at the bottom, medium enterprises and large enterprises occupying the middle two rungs, and global enterprises right on top. He gave an overview of the different roles of the economic agencies. In his 3G model – Grow, Glow and Globalise – A*STAR’s role is to generate know how and attract talents; Economic Development Board’s (EDB) role is to attract overseas investments; International Enterprise (IE) Singapore’s role is to oversee markets access; while SPRING Singapore’s role is to develop enterprises, focusing on SMEs.
Mr Yeo highlighted that the main needs of SMEs are: money, markets, ‘know how/know what’ and management. He shared on the government’s 3MK Strategy, and how SPRING Singapore worked with the various economic and financial agencies – Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), IE Singapore, EDB, and A*STAR – to provide the necessary assistance to our SMEs. He also provided examples of schemes such as the management development program (launched in April 2007) between the government and local universities to upgrade SMEs' management competence.


Sponsor:Chesterton International Property Consultants Pte. Ltd.

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