SINGAPORE (July 30): Technology companies in growth areas identified by the government will soon find it easier to bring their talents into Singapore, should they choose to set up new teams here.

The Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore on Tuesday announced plans to pilot Tech @ SG, a targeted programme to help tech companies grow in Singapore and expand in the region.

Some of the growth areas the agencies have their eye on include digital, medtech, biotech, cleantech, agritech and fintech.

The two-year pilot, which will launch in the last quarter of this year, will connect "high-potential companies" to the innovation and start-up ecosystem here as well as facilitate the bringing in of core team members.

EDB and Enterprise Singapore say Tech @ SG will facilitate Employment Pass (EP) applications for these core team members, which include professionals equipped with skills in frontier technology, such as data science, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT).

The EP allows foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore; candidates must draw a minimum salary of $3,600 a month.

As of December last year, there were some 185,800 EP holders in the city state, compared to a total foreign workforce of 1.39 million.

Chng Kai Fong, managing director of EDB, says this programme means tech firms have the confidence to hire the talent they need. At the same time, it would also enable Singaporeans to work alongside top engineers and entrepreneurs from across the world.

"This will enable Singapore to upskill our local talent pool to root more technology companies here and grow the sector," says Chng.

Local tech startups can also benefit from the expertise that global tech talent can bring, says Edwin Chow, assistant chief executive officer of Enterprise Singapore.

With stronger tech capabilities, these companies can scale up faster and seize market opportunities regionally and internationally, he adds.

The agencies say Tech @ SG is part of Singapore's multi-pronged approach to developing tech companies and talent here. They add that the pilot complements existing initiatives such as Infocomm Media Development Authority’s TechSkills Accelerator and the SG: Digital Talent 2019 campaign.