Jan 12, 2016

    5 sub-groups to plot S'pore's future economy

    IN A first step towards shaping Singapore's next phase of restructuring, the steering committee for the Future Economy is being divided into five sub-groups to review key issues in depth.

    Each sub-committee is co-chaired by a minister and a representative from the private sector, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat told reporters after the committee's first meeting at the Treasury yesterday.

    He and Singapore Business Federation chairman S. S. Teo co-chair the sub-committee on future corporate capabilities and innovation.

    By seeking views from start-ups, local firms and multinationals, this group will recommend strategies for industry clusters to create value using new business models and partnerships.

    S. Iswaran, the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), and McKinsey senior advisor Jean-Luc Butel will co-chair the sub-committee that will identify future growth industries and markets.

    Chan Chun Sing, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, co-chairs the sub-committee on the future of connectivity, which will study how Singapore can retain its well-connected "hub" status as the world changes.

    National Development Minister Lawrence Wong co-chairs the future city sub-committee, which will study how Singapore can overcome land and labour constraints to grow sustainably.

    Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung is the co-chair of the future jobs and skills sub-committee.

    The five sub-committees will meet soon after their members are finalised and the main committee will meet every three months, said Mr Heng.

    "We have also commissioned papers. For instance, the universities have been asked to look at specific issues; how they can play a role in the Singapore economy.

    "So there's a lot of parallel work that will take place," he added.

    He also emphasised that the goal of the Future Economy Committee is to create good jobs and good opportunities for Singaporeans and Singapore businesses. "It is not about one group or another."

    Mr Heng was responding to a question about the SBF's controversial "wishlist" for businesses that it intends to present to Mr Heng today, as well as the unusually large business representation on the steering committee - 25 of its 30 members lead local or multinational businesses.

    Said Mr Iswaran: "Inevitably, different groups will have their own perspectives about what needs to be done... (but) you need these diverse views to come together in order to form a strategy that is durable."