The Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB) plays a crucial role in Singapore’s development by coming up with strategies to enhance the country’s position as a global hub for business, investment and talent. Its goal is to generate sustainable economic growth and create good opportunities for the nation.
EDB Scholar and currently Senior Lead for Business Environment division, Crystalbel Foo, shares how her role helps the organisation achieve these objectives, and how it has been a meaningful and fruitful time doing so.
An Organisation with Impact
For Singapore economy to remain competitive and relevant amidst the complex global and regional operating environment, EDB plays a significant role in ensuring that our industries continue to ride on opportunities and brought about by technological advancement. Crystalbel elaborates, “EDB identifies synergies across the manufacturing and export-oriented services industries by keeping a keen eye on developing the strategy and priorities for the industries. We negotiate and forge strong partnerships with global and local companies and fellow government agencies to realise the economic outcomes we desire. These in turn translate into job opportunities for Singaporeans, which is something that is close to my heart.”
Looking back on her last three years with the EDB, the multitude of opportunities she was given paved the way for her potential to develop. She started out in a role championing the growth of Singapore’s technology sector, before moving to where she is today studying the global development in tax and trade to ensure that Singapore can continue to be a pro-business environment.
“I am heartened that I have contributed to EDB’s goals so far,” she shares. “I have collaborated with corporate giants like Google and Lenovo, working alongside them to discuss their long-term growth plans in Singapore, and to identify new business activities that can be anchored in our small nation. The satisfaction of seeing the first brick laid in the ground for a new facility, or the jobs created because of EDB’s partnerships, is immeasurable,” she declares with conviction.
Senior Lead, Business Environment
Bachelors of Science (Economics)
London School of Economics and Political Science
Even before she started full-time at EDB, the Scholarship equips the Scholars with internships to dive headfirst into industry development and hone their perspectives of how global multinational companies operate, as well as how Singapore can fit in as a key node in their overall business strategy. This is to ease Scholars into their roles and careers when they embark their careers with EDB.
While the work at EDB presents good learning opportunities, each project/ initiative is challenging for a young officer like Crystalbel. “One of the projects I took on after joining full-time was conceptualising the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index. The Index was a world-first industry development tool to help companies transform their operations as a result of technology disruption to their manufacturing activities (i.e. Industries 4.0). It involved consulting a panel of 21 experts on the subject, and was piloted with close to 20 companies across many industries, even prior to the launch.”
Yet, Crystalbel is thankful for the guidance from her mentors and bosses. She muses, “What was amazing was how EDB’s senior management was there for us from the start. They valued our grounds-up proposition and gave us the support we needed to carry out our project into completion. I appreciate this tremendously. It shows how EDB is a close-knitted family and cares for its officers’ development.”
A Place to Develop A Better You
She recommends students who are interested in EDB to remain bold and inquisitive. Only then, she says, will one be able to truly enjoy the complexity of the work, thrive in the excitement of bringing projects to fruition and ultimately, to help Singapore and Singaporeans achieve success.
“These people are the ones who make the EDB environment unique – one that is both dynamic and collaborative. This is a place where you work alongside like-minded peers who are committed to the mission of developing the Singapore economy, a place where you work hard but also have just as much fun,” Crystalbel proudly declares.