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Parliamentary Replies

Proportion Of Government Contracts Awarded To Singapore Companies

16 Oct 2012

Date: 16 October 2012

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance: 

(a) what is the proportion of Government contracts that are secured by Singapore companies, excluding foreign companies based in Singapore; and (b) whether the Government will consider granting more Government contracts to Singapore SMEs in view of the overall slowdown in the economy.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam:

Singapore is party to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and 18 Free Trade Agreements that are in force. These agreements commit parties to ensure that their respective Government procurement regimes are based on the principles of open and fair competition, transparency and value-for-money (VFM).

All Government procurement opportunities are posted on the GeBIZ portal ( and are easily accessible by all suppliers. Bids are evaluated based on whether they meet requirements and objectives of the tender. Both local and foreign suppliers are given equal opportunities to be awarded the Government tenders.

Over the past three years, about $60 billion worth of Government contracts have been awarded to companies registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). This compares to only about $1.8 billion or 3% awarded to suppliers that are not registered with ACRA. As we do not differentiate between bids that are from Singapore companies and foreign companies based in Singapore, we are unable to give a further breakdown by country of origin.

To help local SMEs, our focus is on strengthening their capabilities and competitiveness and to do so without distorting the market, for example by diverting purchases to them. In Budget 2012, the Government had announced a $200 million boost to further build capabilities for our local enterprises to help them improve their market competitiveness.

In addition, the Government will ensure that local enterprises have continued access to Government procurement opportunities. The Government shares pertinent information on public sector medium term pipeline projects. Small enterprises can plan ahead and if necessary, enter into joint collaborations such as forming a consortium to bid for high value Government contracts. To help them gain better access to Government procurement opportunities, these enterprises can opt to receive alerts on tenders and quotations relevant to them via GeBIZ’s Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or via email on SPRING’s EnterpriseOne portal (

Small enterprises[1] do stand a fair chance at being awarded Government tenders. In 2011, about 20% of the total number of Government tenders were awarded to small enterprises. In fact, two out of three tenders whose value is $100,000 or below, were awarded to small enterprises.

As for measures to help SMEs in the event of a downturn, this would depend on the severity of the downturn and the specific conditions that are affecting businesses.

[1] Refer to enterprises with net tangible assets of up to $250,000.