Things to take note of about Enterprise Development Grant

Things to take note of when applying for the Enterprise Development Grant

It’s been a tough season for businesses all around the world. With the global pandemic, inflation, and geopolitical and climate crisis coming to a head, this perfect storm of events has forced companies to pivot or adapt to the rapidly changing market forces of today. Thankfully, Singapore’s government has been aware of the need for support in these ailing times and has introduced grants such as the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) to invest in promising firms that need temporary assistance. 

On websites such as Enterprise Singapore, one will find multiple grants available. The Enterprise Development Grant will cover as much as 70% of qualifying costs for SMEs. Two further groups stand to gain stronger subsidies, with Budget 2022 allotting up to 80% for applicants from the Food Services and Retail sectors from 1 Apr 2022 to 31 Mar 2023; and the same for unionised companies and e2i partners under the Labour Movement that promise to work with unions to train workers as part of those looking for job transformation.

The Enterprise Development Grant is best suited for SMEs looking to use the financial subsidies to improve, innovate or expand their reach overseas through three core pillars.

They are:

  • Core Capabilities
  • Innovation and Productivity
  • Market Access

If applicants submit proposals that outline these initiatives vividly, their applications will likely be approved, so it is important to know what these three categories entail.

 

Core capabilities

“Projects under Core Capabilities help businesses prepare for growth and transformation by strengthening their business foundations.” – Enterprise Singapore website

As indicated, the first pillar deals with re-envisioning the fundamentals within the business model itself. The website further clarifies these into 5 areas:

1. Business Strategy Development: Finding intervention through strategies – tapping into areas such as those of research and development, marketing or more to seek out opportunities and strengthen competitiveness.

2. Financial Management: Optimise financial performance through a review of existing investments, while evaluating risk exposures. Also to keep expenditure lean but efficient, with training invested in the most important stewards of the company’s resources.

3. Human Capital Development: Bolster the company’s Human Resource (HR) capabilities – and restructuring if needed – to create more efficient systems that reward and invest in talents to support business growth strategies.

4. Service Excellence: Investigate and improve the company’s service delivery at all touchpoints and find updated alignment with existing customers’ needs.

5. Strategic Brand and Marketing Development: Discover differentiation and well-defined brand levers to better target and convert audiences. Update strategies and deliver better communication through collateral and engagement.

 

Innovation and productivity

“Projects under Innovation and Productivity support companies that explore new areas of growth, or look for ways to enhance efficiency, or optimise resource usage to improve their sustainability performance. Companies could also tap into automation and technologies to make routine tasks more efficient and sustainable.” – Enterprise Singapore website

Digital transformation has been one of the key solutions to tide over – and in some cases excel in – these challenging years. Understanding that these innovations require significant capital, the Enterprise Development Grant defrays the cost of procurement and implementation in these 3 areas:

1. Process redesign: Evaluating the existing workflows and processes to identify areas of implementation, so as to enhance productivity and efficient resource use. 

2. Automation: Drive productivity and growth through implementation of automation in processes; streamlining workflows and gaining deeper insights.

3. Product development: Help businesses to discover market viability and develop an effective commercialisation plan.

 

Market access

“Projects under Market Access support Singapore companies that are willing and ready to venture overseas. You may tap into the EDG to help defray some of the costs of expanding into overseas markets.” – Enterprise Singapore website

As outlined, this segment applies to those companies seeking to expand out of Singapore. The primary 3 areas this grant can help look into are:

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A): Finding expansion through M&A, including resources to help in the assessment (such as feasibility studies and valuations) to post-merger integrations and documentation.

Pilot Project and Test Bedding: Building a solid track record to allow for a more credible and easier expansion into new geography and markets.

Standards Adoption: Ease businesses into adopting internationally-recognised standards and certifications in new or existing key industries, to enhance native competitiveness, minimise legal complications and gain faster market reach.

Note: A fifth area, Overseas Marketing Presence, has since been removed from this list and been given its own grant under the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant.

 

Eligibility

To apply for the Enterprise Development Grant, businesses will also need to be of the following criteria to be eligible for the subsidy:

  • Be a business entity registered and have at least one operation in Singapore.
  • Have a minimum of 30% in local shareholding.
  • Justify the financial viability of the project to assure its full completion.

With these criteria met and a sound proposal submitted, the Enterprise Development Grant

Promises to fund qualifying project costs include (but are not limited to) third-party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal workforce cost.

All applications will be assessed by Enterprise Singapore, and factors such as the project scope, its outcomes and an evaluation of the competency of the service provider will be considered before the final outcome. In some cases, businesses who wish to assure themselves of effective documentation and project viability can consult with firms such as Go Global Gem as advisory and administrative partners to enhance their applications. The experienced agencies will highlight lesser-known factors (such as additional subsidies for employers eligible for SkillsFuture Enterprise Credits) or indicate critical areas that require supporting documentation.

But as long as applicants can provide solid presentations and projects under the three pillars indicated above, the Enterprise Development Grant is well worth the effort to give your business the step up in much-needed funding.

Start your business on the right foot and find your trusted expansion partner with 全球出海宝.

Amendments to Hong Kong’s Foreign-sourced Income Exemption Regime under Consultation

Amendments to Hong Kong’s Foreign-sourced Income Exemption Regime under Consultation

In June 2022, the Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) government released a consultation paper proposing amendments to the foreign-sourced income exemption (FSIE) regime for passive income to address European Union’s (EU) concerns of non-taxation of passive income, where the income recipient has no substantial economic activity, highlighted on October 2021. HKSAR commits to amend its tax laws by 31 December 2022 and to be applicable as of 1 January 2023.

Image from unsplash website

 

Under the new proposed new FSIE regime, offshore passive income, including interests, income from Intellectual Properties (IP), dividends and gains from the disposal of shares or equity interests, would be deemed sourced from the HKSAR and deemed taxable if:

• the income received in the HKSAR by a constituent entity of a multi-national enterprise (MNEs)
• the receiving entity fails to meet the economic substance requirement for non-IP passive income or fails to comply with the nexus approach for IP passive income

In-scope offshore passive income would continue to be exempt from tax if certain conditions are met.

 

For enquiries, feel free to contact us:

何家俊
Email: kahchuanho@goglobalgem.com

Singapore PR Application: The Guide To Becoming A Permanent Resident

Singapore PR Application: The Guide To Becoming A Permanent Resident

With its iconic skyscrapers, “garden city” moniker and all-round stability and safety, it’s little wonder that Singapore is often considered as a country for immigration. Unlike many other choice destinations though, Singapore has a fairly open policy to receiving new permanent residents and it all starts with your PR application.

As of June 2021, there are 488,000 Singaporean permanent residents – one-eighth of the total resident population of almost 4 million (source: population.gov.sg). When you become a Singapore Permanent Resident, you are accorded much of the rights as a full citizen. Some of these include:

 

  • Able to live, enter and leave the country without the need for additional visa applications.
  • Be able to apply for long-stay visas for parents.
  • Gain access to better loans by institutions.
  • Permitted to buy resale public housing units (or HDB flats) from citizens.
  • Gain access to healthcare and work opportunities similar to citizens.
  • Be able to apply for full citizenship after committing a number of years as PR.

 

Sounds good? Then here’s how you start.

It all begins at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), where you can submit a PR application online as your first step.

But as with most immigration policies, some groups will have a smoother process. If you belong to these groups, it’s extremely advantageous to you securing that PR. Here are the schemes:

 

1. Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers scheme (PTS) Scheme

Available to those working in Singapore with an Employment Pass (EP) or Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass), S-Pass, or Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) work permit.


This is usually the preferred route made available to foreigners working in Singapore. As candidates have lived and worked in the country for some time, it goes to reason that they will find it easy to integrate.
You’ll need: A relevant work permit, at least 6 months’ worth of documented payslips and be fully employed during the application process. To find out more about these work permits in Singapore, click here.

 

2. Sponsored Scheme

Available to a foreign spouse or unmarried children of the main sponsor who’s a citizen or PR.

Singapore understands how important family units are and so existing PR and citizens can file for their foreign spouse or single children to become PRs. This applies to those with a Dependent Pass (DP) as well, whether they are in Singapore or elsewhere during the PR application process.

You’ll need: Identification for the main sponsor who must be a Singapore citizen or PR, official documentation such as a marriage certificate for the spouse or birth certificates or legal adoption papers for the children.

 

3. Global Investor Programme (GIP)

Available to select foreign investors.

Unlike the other schemes which require a period of residence in Singapore, the GIP is a direct PR application that omits this requirement. As a country with few natural resources, Singapore’s economy leverages on attracting foreign investments as part of its strategy.  If you have a credible business track record or rich entrepreneurial legacies, you can submit your PR application through the Economic Development Board (EDB) website instead.


The qualifiers are more complex given the nature of the scheme, but some credentials you’ll need include: A 3-year track record with audited financial statements, having a minimum investment amount of S$2.5 million that goes into a local company, and having a turnover of at least S$200 million for three years before the application. More details – including those for investors – can be found here.

 

4. Foreign Artistic Talent Programme (ForArts)

Available to select artists.

While Singapore is globally-established as a financial hub, it’s not yet seen as an arts and cultural leader even though the scene has grown considerably in the last decade. This is why the government is looking to induct foreign artistic talent under this scheme. If you have shown promise and talent in creative skills such as those in dance, music, photography, fine arts, literature, film, or theatre, you’re in luck.

PR applications are assessed by the ICA but screened by the National Arts Council (NAC). You’ll need: Official documents showing relevant training and education in fields such as performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, design, media etc, proven professional experience in related fields, proven contributions to the local scene, and demonstrate an established wish to continue contributing to Singapore’s art scene.

 

5. Student Scheme

Available to foreign students.

Many education institutions have found Singapore a good base to receive regional and global students, and so Singapore has also made it easier for those studying here to become a PR and become part of the society.
You’ll need: Your active Student Pass, official documentation from the school, prove that you’ve been in Singapore for 2 years, and papers to show you have passed a national exam or in an Integrated Programme (IP).

These schemes greatly improve your chances to become a Singapore PR, and all you’ll need to do is to fill up the form online at the ICA website. For Singapore citizens or PR who are applying on behalf of the applicants, they can also do so via their assigned Singpass account. This is also available to Employment Pass or S Pass holders. Foreign students can opt for the online PR application using their Foreign Identification Number (FIN) and the issuance date of their valid immigration pass. An administrative fee of S$100 is required during the PR application.

Upon approval, you’ll need to formalise the papers in person at ICA, and also pay an additional S$150 (S$20 for Entry Permit; S$50 for a 5-year Re-Entry Permit; S$50 for Identity Card; S$30 per Entry Visa).

That said, the approval process is a holistic and considered one, and there are advantages in submitting supplementary documents or being aware of certain conditions which can have an impact on your plans when living in Singapore.

For example, Singapore has compulsory military enlistment for all male citizens. So male children who come in under the Sponsored Scheme must conscript into National Service when they become of age.

A specialised agency like Go Global Gem can become a consultative partner for your Singapore PR application, to ensure that no aspect is overlooked when planning for your immigration. Additionally, because the ICA considers organic factors such as family profiles, length of residency and other soft factors like one’s interest in building their lives in Singapore, an agency can tease out these helpful supporting facts during interviews.

Did you know that for artists, having a portfolio that includes local engagements at a leadership level is a great factor to add to your application? Or that special commendations or awards can also expedite the approval?

An experienced agency will not only provide the best solutions for faster approval and seamless PR application but also ensure that your immigration as a Singapore PR will be a fulfilling and rewarding one.

Eager to become a Singapore PR? Let 全球出海宝 increase your chances and take care of your PR application for you.

Setting up Trust and Family Office in Singapore

Setting up Trust and Family Office in Singapore

Singapore has always been widely acknowledged as a livable country and city in the world. However, as we all know, the immigration threshold in Singapore has always been relatively high, and there are certain requirements for the applicant’s assets, age, education, business background, language, etc. It is not easy to obtain Singapore Permanent Resident status. Many people mistakenly think that it is difficult to move to Singapore and obtain Singapore Permanent Resident. In fact, there is a simpler way – the “Singapore Family Office” programme! More and more people have obtained Singapore Permanent Resident this way, especially high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs.

On March 10, 2022, GO GLOBAL GEM held the ‘Trust and Family Office’ online webinar, to share insights and knowledge to our valued partners. At the same time, we would like to thank Alicloud for their strong support for the venue and technology! It is such a great honor to have two guests from Bank of Singapore (BOS), Jackson (OCBC subsidiary, Wealth Planner at BOS) and Sherrie (Product Specialist at BOS).

Starting from the two major themes of ‘How to Land in Singapore’ and ‘Singapore Bank Investment Strategy’, they focus on ‘How to achieve asset inheritance and tax avoidance through the trust structure’, ‘How to obtain Singapore Permanent Resident within one month through the family-office channel’, ‘How to manage your wealth well’, and ‘What risks are the markets currently facing?’

Introduction of our speakers

Sherrie Chong
Product Specialist at Bank of Singapore (BOS)

Sherrie is a product specialist at BOS specialising in managed investments. She works closely in the Philippine, ASEAN, Indonesia and Thailand markets, providing tailor-made fund solutions.
Sherrie joined BOS (Hong Kong) in 2019, covering alternative investment and management solutions in the Greater China North Asia region. She just relocated to the Singapore headquarters in 2021.

Before joining Bank of Singapore, she was a Senior Investment Advisor at iFast Financial Limited, where she worked on investment research and portfolio strategy. She has researched over 1000 funds and has been invited to over 100 external workshops to share her investment ideas. Sherrie graduated from City University of Hong Kong with a degree in Business Administration Economics and Finance.

 

Jackson
Wealth Planner at BOS

Jackson is a Wealth Planner at BOS, a subsidiary of OCBC Bank, providing consultation to ultra-high or high net worth clients and families on wealth planning and succession. Before he joined BOS in 2021, he spent the past 4 years at CA Indosuez (Switzerland) SA providing private banking clients with holistic wealth planning to address the different needs of each family, including succession planning and wealth inheritance for families across different jurisdictions.

He also spent four and a half years with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Singapore and KPMG Malaysia, handling financial audits and corporate tax matters for multinational corporations and listed banks. He is a Qualified Trust and Estate Planner (TEP) of the International Society of Trust and Asset Planning (STEP) and a Fellow Member Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). He is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese (dialect) and Southern Fujian Dialect.

 

Stella
COO of Go Global Gem
Stella has over ten years of experience in finance, human resources and global immigration services. She established its headquarters in Singapore and built a dedicated team of professionals to provide full operational support for clients’ global expansion needs. She has served more than 2,000 Chinese companies and helped their management teams obtain Employment Pass and successfully assisted more than 200 permanent residency and citizenship cases.

 

Wealth Management

Wealth management is the skill of building wealth by creating, securing and passing it on to the next generation. Clients invest a lot of time and energy to create wealth but are often too busy to think about how to protect their wealth and ultimately pass it on to the next generation, which is exactly the purpose of wealth planning.

What Is A Trust

A trust is an equitable duty whereby the person under the fiduciary duty (the trustee) shall administer the property under his control (the trust property) for the benefit of the beneficiaries (who may also be one of the beneficiaries) and any beneficiary has the right to enforce obligations. Any act or omission of a beneficiary that is not authorized or permitted by the trust deed or the law is called a breach of fiduciary duty.
Depending on the terms of the trust, the trustee’s control may be subject to the fiduciary or personal powers of someone else (sometimes expressly designated as a “protector”).

Employment Pass & Family Office

If you want to settle in Singapore, the first goal is to achieve an “Employment Pass” (EP). For many Chinese planning to move to Singapore, the EP is easier said than done. If you plan to open a company in Singapore to obtain an employment pass, a “family office” may be a good choice for you.

What is a Family Office?

Family office is the highest form of family wealth management. In Singapore, this scheme is also known as MAS 13U (formerly known as 13X) and MAS 13O (formerly known as 13R).

How to obtain an Employment Pass through setting up a Family Office?

The family office is a linear structure, the client will directly hold the fund company (customers who choose the 13U plan can also choose an offshore or Singapore company), while the family office is directly held by the fund company and will serve as a Fund companies provide investment management services. Moreover, to provide investment management services, family offices must employ investment professionals, which is where the employment pass comes from.

If you choose the 13U plan, you can hire 3 professional investment personnel, while you can only hire 1 when you apply for the 13O plan. Employers can be family members or employees of your company.

 

What are the advantages of a Family Office?
The popularity of 13U/13O family offices is inseparable from the advantages of discretionary funds (such as stocks, bonds, and portfolio investment of funds), tax residency status, and children’s admission to local schools:

  • Funds that meet the 13U/13O conditions will be exempted from tax on specific gains from their designated investments
  • Ability to obtain an Employment Pass (EP) (13U – 3 EPs / 13O – 1 EP)
  • Parents can apply for Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)
  • Spouse and children (under 21 years old and single) can apply for Dependent’s Pass
  • You can apply for permanent resident status (Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)) in the future (if conditions apply)
  • You can apply to become a Singapore Citizen in the future (if conditions apply)
  • Family Wealth Inheritance – Establish long-lasting family traditions through family offices, achieve cross-generation inheritance and preserve & increase family wealth


Q & A

Q: What are the advantages of the EP obtained through the family office compared to the ordinary EP application, and how long is the application cycle?
A: In our experience, applying EP via family offices is almost all successful. In the past, many high-end customers would open general companies or shell companies to apply for EP. But now that the immigration policy has been tightened, if the company has no actual business in Singapore and is simply a shell company to apply for an EP, the possibility of being rejected is very high. As for the application cycle, if the information is complete, it can be completed within 4-5 weeks.

The review of the opening session of [Trust and Family Office] ends here. Do you have a better understanding of trust? If you want to know more about trusts and family offices, you can join our family office sharing group for further information.

For enquiries, feel free to contact us:

何家俊
Email: kahchuanho@goglobalgem.com

Stella Tan
Email: stellatan@goglobalgem.com

How Important is Sustainability in Today’s World?

How Important is Sustainability in Today’s World?

The Importance of Sustainability

Everyone of us who lives on Earth has an equally important stake in the planet’s health. However, there is a small group of super corporations which have grown so big and dominant that they control the human industry and shape the modern world we live in. Some of their annual revenues eclipse the GDPs of developing countries.

It has also been reported that just 100 companies account for more than 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. With the collective, oversized influence, these handful of companies have on the fate of the whole planet; it is not surprising that the society at large is calling for them to help sort out the myriad of environmental challenges facing the world.

Governments, non-government organizations, citizens, consumers and other stakeholders, all want to see these companies do their part for their communities. Failure to do so would mean losing the social license to operate, which would hurt their financial bottom line.

However, it should not only be the stick of the loss of goodwill in the community that should motivate these corporations, but there are numerous carrots to employing sustainable practices in their corporations as well. It would be to the collective benefit of Earth to ensure that the wealth created could improve the lives of not just the few but everyone so that all can flourish and live on a resilient planet rich with biodiversity.

A future for our children

Despite there being millions of galaxies, stars and planetary systems in the universe, there is only ONE habitable planet that we know of – Earth. As such, every one of us has a moral obligation not only to each other, but especially to our future generations, and other species which share our home, to keep the planet in the best shape possible. The choices we make and actions we take will impact the lives of future generations. If we exhaust the resources of the Earth, future generations will be made to suffer. For instance, overfishing not only runs the risk of depleting the supply of fish, but will also significantly impact the supply of every organism in the food chain related to that fish, causing the ecosystem to break down.

Pivot to renewable energy sources

Switching to using renewable sources such as solar and wind energy, in tandem with more energy-efficient equipment, reduces monthly utility bills, which makes them more energy-efficient and helps companies become more efficient overall. Renewable energy is also cleaner and kinder on the environment. Being sustainable also improves relations with the government and the local community and could even qualify the company for some tax incentives and subsidies.

A clean environment

Cleaner water and air quality, reduced landfills from reduction in wastage and increased dependence on renewable energy sources – all these are potential positives from a change to a sustainable policy. The reduction in our carbon footprint as well as the amount of toxins released into the environment, making the air we breathe much cleaner and lessening the effects of global warming.

Enhancing brand value

Millennials are the largest generation of the population by far and are particularly concerned about environmental impact, as is the generation after them. Corporations could thus enhance their brand value significantly by tapping into the social-consciousness of the new generations. Many forward-thinking companies had already made sustainability a part of their corporate culture and business models, which can translate into lasting competitive advantages for them.

Meeting changing consumer demand

Changing trends among consumers who favour companies which support sustainability, ensure better financial performances for companies which change with the tides. Those companies which do not change their policies to be in line with the changing mindsets and values of their consumers would be left behind.

Attracting talent

As sustainability becomes a top priority when considering a potential employer, it also helps to attract talent. Many new job-seekers have cited taking a job because of the company’s sustainability, and some are even foregoing higher pay elsewhere to work at an environmentally responsible company. The company’s reputation for sustainability would not only serve to attract quality employees, but will also serve to retain and keep their employees motivated as they will see more value in the contribution in what the company is doing.

Creating new opportunities

A strong sustainability proposition can help companies jump to the head of the queue when entering new markets or expanding into existing ones, especially since many governments have set aside generous budgets to fight air pollution and other environmental concerns. The best-placed companies to take advantage of these new opportunities would be those that focus on sustainability for the future.

For enquiries, feel free to contact us:

何家俊
Email: kahchuanho@goglobalgem.com

Desmond Chew
Email: desmondchew@goglobalgem.com