In remarks to the media at the sidelines of the Ministry of Trade and Industry's annual economic dialogue on 28 August 2023, Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry indicated that Singapore is exploring "new tools" to "manage significant investments into critical entities", which comes as Singapore faces "significant challenges" in the global economy. Investments in entities operating in regulated sectors in Singapore (e.g., telecommunications, broadcasting, energy and financial services) are currently already subject to review by sectoral regulators. As such, the reference to "critical entities" in the Minister's remarks could point to similar tools being put in place to review investments in entities engaged in critical activities which are not currently subject to sectoral regulation. While further details have yet to be provided, it is an opportune reminder of the tools that other governments have put in place to screen investments in sectors deemed significant from a national interest or security perspective. This note sets out some recent developments on this front which would be of interest to businesses that are or may be involved in cross-border M&A transactions.

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