The windmill-shape design suggests the progress and dynamism of an agency founded to help Singapore businessmen meet the challenges of international trade. The pointed sails symbolise how the agency expands trade for Singapore to the four corners of the world. While the blue represents the water surrounding the island, the red at the centre identifies with Singapore's national colour.
The design was by an art director of an advertising company. It beat 441 entries to win the top prize of $3,000 cash.
In 1998, the logo was replaced to reflect the board's expanded role.