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Market Readiness Assistance (MRA)

The COVID-19 crisis brought impact on many unprepared businesses. The outbreak of the crisis force companies to shift to hybrid working models and this has been particularly challenging for companies who initially planned to expand internationally. As such, many have been forced to put a stop on their overseas expansion strategy.

However, this pandemic also served as an opportunity for Singapore businesses. With the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will receive an international boost to assist with their overseas expansion.

The MRA grant provides subsidies of up to 70% of the eligible costs, capped at $100,000 per company per new market* that covers three main components:

  • Overseas market promotion (capped at $20,000)

  • Overseas business development (capped at $50,000)

  • Overseas market set-up (capped at $30,000)

Companies need to note that each application is limited to only one activity in a single overseas market such as trade fair in Germany or IP application in China. Retrospective applications are not accepted. If the company has already signed an engagement letter/made first payment or commenced the project with the third-party consultant before receiving any Letter of Offer, the application will automatically be rejected. Companies must also submit the applications no earlier than six months of project start date.

The supportable activities are listed in the tables below.


Overseas Marketing and PR activities

Third-party costs incurred for:

  • Marketing & PR activities including launch of in-store promotions, road shows, pop-up stores

  • Pitching fees at overseas business/trade conferences

Participation in Overseas Physical and Virtual Trade Fairs NOT supported under LEAD International Fairs & Missions

Overseas Physical Trade Fairs

Third-party costs charged by Event Organisers relating to:

  • Space Rental

  • Booth design and construction

Virtual Trade Fairs

Packaged fees charged by Event Organisers relating to:

  • Virtual Exhibition Hall & Booth Access

  • Collateral creation (EDMs, booth writeup)

  • Business Meeting/Matching sessions

  • Webinar/Conference

  • Pitches/Product Launches

Third party costs relating to:

  • Publicity (design and production of digital collaterals, promotional materials) for trade fairs and virtual fairs

  • Logistics costs for virtual fairs only (transportation of materials/samples overseas)


Business matching

Third-party costs incurred to identify potential partners and/or customers (B2B) including the following:

  • Licensees/franchisees

  • Agents and distributors

  • Joint venture partners

Overseas Marketing Presence (OMP)

Project-specific eligible expenses:

  • Salary of 1 permanent BD staff* stationed at OMP

  • Rental of OMP

In-market Business Development

Third party costs relating to subscription costs of outsourced BD services for up to 12 months

Activities could include:

  • Preparation of local in-market BD personnel, product training

  • Embarking on BD activities to reach out to new business leads

  • Implementation of market entry activities

  • Regular updates on the progress of BD effort.

  • Reviewing market entry strategy and advice on setting up of entity in the market or future strategy plans, etc


Market Entry

Advisory, legal and documentation expenses relating to

  • Name search

  • Intellectual Property (IP) Search and application

  • Filing and registration for sales/representative offices or equity entity

  • Implementation of recommended tax structures

  • Import and export licences

  • Drafting of franchising, licensing, agency, distributorship, and joint venture agreements (limited to only the first set of such agreement)

  • Trade Credit Insurance (TCI)

In-depth FTA Consultancy

Consultancy, advisory and legal expenses relating to:

  • In-depth assessment to identify opportunities available in FTAs

  • Analysis of company’s supply chain

  • Application procedures for Customs rulings with issuing authority

  • Consultancy for FTA compliance, including internal guidelines/checklist

Eligibility Criteria

  • Business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore

  • New market entry criteria, i.e. target overseas country whereby the applicant has not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales in each of the last three preceding years

  • At least 30% local shareholding

  • Group Annual Sales Turnover of not more than S$100 million; OR Company's Group Employment Size of not more than 200 employees

Proof of completion is required for all claimable activities within 3 months from project end date. An independent auditor must verify all the expenses as well. Fortunately, an audit grant fee capped at $500 or 70% of the audit fee is provided too, which reduces the company’s costs and maximise the grant received.

However, the claims process can be tedious as detailed event write-ups, reports on market updates, documentation of business meetings may be required for certain activities. The mistakes made in the submissions can also result to application failure which can hinder the overseas marketing promotions or disbursement process. At K.Merleone, we have high success rate for grants application and we are able to provide grants advisory that is catered to your needs. Aside from FTA consultancy which requires FTA consultants, K.Merleone is able to advise companies on all other marketing activities.

For all business owners who are seeking to tap on government grants fuss-free, contact us now at info@kmerleone or +65 8010 1470.


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