Government agencies recognised for facilitating a business-friendly environment
- Survey score improves from 74.2 to 76.4 in 2015
- New award category, Pro-Enterprise Partner Award to recognise the contributions of the private sector
- MPA is the top-ranked agency for the fourth year
- IRAS bags most number of awards
There are a total of five awards this year. The new Pro-Enterprise Partner Award was added to recognise private sector contributors with the highest number of accepted suggestions in the year. The other four award categories are the Pro-Enterprise Awards, Most Improved Agency Awards, Best Pro-Enterprise Suggestion Award, and the Pro-Enterprise Initiative Awards. A total of 28 awards were given out to businesses, individuals and public agencies.
The annual PER survey is commissioned by the Pro-Enterprise Panel (PEP) to assess the pro-enterprise performance of government regulatory agencies. This year’s survey includes two new agencies, the National Parks Board (NParks) and Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). Agencies that did well in the survey were recognised at the 2015 Pro-Enterprise Panel – Singapore Business Federation (PEP-SBF) Awards. The event recognises the collaborative efforts of government agencies and businesses to enhance Singapore’s pro-enterprise environment.
Guest-of-Honour at the PEP-SBF event, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade & Industry and Education, Ms Low Yen Ling, said “To be relevant, rules need to be regularly reviewed and adapted. We have engaged businesses and considered their feedback and suggestions to ensure that government regulations enable our businesses to grow and be competitive.” She emphasised the need for continued partnership between the public and private sectors in ensuring that government regulations continue to support capable and productive companies.
Mr Lawrence Leow, Honorary Treasurer of the SBF and Chairman of the SME Committee, said, “Good business regulations enable the private sector to thrive and they enable businesses, particularly SMEs and start-ups, to start, grow and become more competitive. To sustain our competitive edge, we must continue to work together – the public agencies developing and enhancing pro-enterprise policies, and our businesses sharing ideas on how government rules can be formulated and implemented better.”
Private sector businesses were recognised for collaborating with public agencies. Six individuals and trade associations received the PEP Best Suggestion Award and the Pro-Enterprise Partner Award for providing feedback and suggestions on regulations improvements which would benefit the larger business community.
Mr Peter Moore, Director, Project Management, Powerhouse of Evonik Oil Additives Asia Pacific received an award for Best Pro-Enterprise Suggestion. He said “It is not always easy to find the right person in the government to raise feedback to; that is why we were doubly satisfied when we were not only able to raise our concerns to the government but also see constructive responses and meaningful action taken to assist us.”
Ms Lim Rui Shan, Executive Director of Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) received the Pro-Enterprise Partner Award. She said “RAS is honoured to be recognised as a partner of the Pro-Enterprise Panel and will continue to reinforce our collaborations to build an even better business environment for all.”
MPA is the top-ranked agency for the fourth year
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has been ranked the top agency for four consecutive PER Surveys. Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “We hope to inspire other agencies to engage their stakeholders and work with them to create a more competitive and pro-business environment for Singapore. If we can all put our hearts and minds into this, I am confident Singapore can continue to grow and attract investments, creating good jobs for Singaporeans. It cannot just be MPA or a few leading agencies.”
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) received four awards, the most number of awards among public sector agencies. These awards recognise IRAS’ active partnership with businesses to roll out notable initiatives such as extending the validity period for the Major Exporter Scheme and allowing Goods & Services Tax (GST) claims on the re-import of goods belonging to local and GST-registered overseas businesses as well as making significant improvements in its ranking for the 2015 PER Survey (3rd in 2015, up from 17th in 2014).
Mr Tan Tee How, Commissioner and CEO of IRAS, said “IRAS will continue to simplify tax rules and processes to enhance voluntary compliance and minimise businesses’ compliance costs.”
Opening Address by Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Trade & Industry and Education)