Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 05 January 2019
In his October 22 speech at this year’s (2018) “Future Economy Conference and Exhibition” hosted by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said the country’s future economy is expected to grow 3% annually. Differences between sectors will gradually increase, however, with some industries advancing up to 8%, while others may decline. Therefore, Singapore must make industry-tailored adjustments to help more businesses transform successfully.
Chan stated that for industries lagging in development or even in decline, the first step is to help businesses redeploy their resources, such as capital, land, and labor and ensure that employees gain new skills through retraining. For industries with average performance, transformation should be promoted gradually. In rapidly growing sectors, businesses should receive help to expand and develop new markets. If the markets for high-growth sectors do not increase accordingly, there will be excess production and labor, and surplus workers will be displaced to sectors with lower production. This can result in reduced labor productivity at the national-level, and poses challenges to Singapore’s future economic development.
Chan points out that leading industries and projects have three shared factors. One, strong Trade Association and Chambers (TACs) that guide businesses in their advancement while facilitating innovation and competition; two, stable labor-management relations that promote employee training engagement and skills improvement; and three, accurate identification of industry problems and specific solutions that drive transformation more efficiently.
The banking and finance, supply chain and logistics, and transport sectors are transforming fastest. The SMEs Go Digital program has also done well and 39,000 training placements have been provided by Singaporean companies through the TechSkills Accelerator Plan. SBF Chairman Teo Siong Seng asserted that SBF collaborated with Singapore’s Info Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) last year to establish a special committee on digitalization, aiding companies to speed up their digital transformation. Next year, the Federation will work with the Singapore Logistics Association (SLA) to study process improvements through digital tools, such as electronic invoices.