International Enterprise (IE) Singapore celebrates our 30th anniversary in 2013.

The Trade Development Board (TDB) started in 1983 with a clear mandate to promote Singapore’s exports, and evolved into growing Singapore’s trade and developing Singapore as a trade hub.

Since inception, Singapore has broken into the top 15 of trading nations, capturing more than 2% of the world’s total exports. Today, Singapore is a thriving global trading hub, with a complete ecosystem for the energy, agri-commodities and metals & minerals trading clusters.

Recognising the importance of internationalisation to Singapore’s economic future, TDB was restructured in the year 2002 to form IE Singapore. Growing Globally Competitive Companies (GCCs) for Singapore has since become a key area of focus for our agency, as they form the next engine of Singapore’s development. 

Our anniversary theme “30 Years of Globalising Singapore” highlights the crucial role that the external economy has played in Singapore’s past; also pointing to the increasing importance of trade and internationalisation for Singapore’s future growth.

As part of our mission to grow trade and GCCs, we will launch a series of initiatives to reinforce the pivotal role trade and internationalisation plays in Singapore’s economy.

This year, find out how Singapore became a global trading hub in the IE Story, an interactive mobile app featuring behind-the-scenes anecdotes; read inspiring stories about how Singapore-based companies have used unique strategies to successfully venture overseas, and look forward to our IE Insights, a series of market papers with on-the-ground insights to equip companies in their internationalisation journey. 

Read up on some of the news on IE30 here

  1. IE Singapore marks 30 years of globalising Singapore
  2. IE Singapore mission 'even more critical now'
  3. No.1 challenge for S'pore firms growing overseas: competition
  4. Reluctance to work abroad limits us: PM
  5. PM Lee: No replay of Asian financial crisis
  6. Asia not headed for repeat of 1997 crisis: PM Lee


The Trade Development Board (TDB) is set up.


Singapore enters world ranking of top 20 trading nations.


TDB opens 1st office in the Middle East (Dubai).


TDB introduces TradeNet, the world’s leading nationwide automated trade processing system.


Singapore’s total trade hits S$216 billion, breaking into the top 15 trading nations.


Singapore implements 1st Free Trade Agreement (ASEAN).

Singapore-Shandong Business Council launched. 1st of seven G2G business councils to help Singapore-based companies access China.


Singapore captures more than 2% of world’s total exports for the 1st time.


Singapore joins the World Trade Organisation.


TDB opens 1st Singapore government office in Latin America (Mexico City).


TDB restructures and renamed International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, focusing on internationalisation.


Singapore’s total trade hits S$800 billion, growing at CAGR of 17% since 2002.


IE opens 9th Chinese office in Wuhan, our 1st in Central China.

Singapore’s cumulative direct investment abroad breaks S$400 billion, growing at CAGR of 13.3% since 2001.


Singapore’s cumulative direct investment into China exceeds US$70 billion, making it the 4th largest investor in China.


IE launches Global Company Partnership to grow globally competitive companies.

IE opens 38th overseas office in Ghana, our 2nd in Africa.

IE Insights

IE Insights Vol 4

IE Insights is a series of market papers offering a broad perspective of the latest opportunities across various markets and sectors for Singapore companies. As part of our 30th anniversary, 14 new issues of IE Insights will be launched this year to equip business leaders with market access knowledge for internationalising. 

View all IE Insights 

Inspiring Company Stories

Singapore companies across different industries share their internationalisation journey as they venture overseas to grow their business. Follow their stories weekly as they get published in The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao until September 3.

IE Singapore: 30 Years of Globalising Singapore (English) (Chinese)

View all company stories