SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced on Wednesday (Jan 10) the appointment of Peter Ong Boon Kwee as chairman-designate of Enterprise Singapore.
Mr Ong’s appointment follows the first reading of the Enterprise Singapore Board Bill in Parliament on Jan 8, which replaces the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore Board Act and SPRING Singapore Board Act, MTI added.
Mr Ong was the head of Civil Service and permanent secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) before retiring in August, 2017.
He spent more than 30 years in the public sector where he headed several ministries as permanent secretary, including MTI, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Defence, MTI said in its release.
"Mr Ong’s extensive background and wealth of experience will be instrumental in steering Enterprise Singapore’s efforts to grow stronger Singapore enterprises. Over the next few months, other Board members will be identified to guide Enterprise Singapore in providing greater support and assistance to Singapore companies looking to equip themselves with new capabilities, innovate and expand overseas," the ministry added.
Mr Loh Khum Yean, permanent secretary for MTI, said: “Mr Ong’s breadth and depth of experience will be a strong addition to the MTI family. I look forward to working closely with him to strengthen economic growth and create good jobs for Singaporeans.”
On his appointment as chairman-designate of Enterprise Singapore, Mr Ong said: “I am deeply honoured to be appointed and look forward to working closely with key stakeholders in this important transformation journey that our enterprises need to embark on.
"As a new statutory board, Enterprise Singapore will have to find ways to facilitate enterprises that are prepared to restructure and grow capabilities to compete aggressively. I am confident that the staff and management are excited and capable to meet this challenge.”
Mr Ong will also concurrently be appointed as senior economic advisor, MTI with effect from Jan 15, MTI said.
"He will provide strategic advice on economic strategies and policies, as well as champion efforts to enable robust enterprise growth through strong enterprise capabilities, deep and wide internationalisation networks, and strong partnerships with key stakeholders," it added.
ASME president Kurt Wee said that as the most recent former head of Civil Service, Mr Ong brings "formidable experience, seniority, coupled with strong track record as chairman of Pro-Enterprise Panel".
"The appointment of Mr Ong as chairman of Enterprise Singapore, coupled with Mr Png (Cheong Boon) as its chief executive, brings us great confidence and high hopes in what is to come in the new Enterprise Singapore,” he added.
The association said that it was confident that with its new leadership, Enterprise Singapore will continue to drive enterprise growth domestically and internationally.