The world is changing.
- The US-China strategic competition has intensified, with tremendous implications on trade, technology, and the global order.
- Global supply chains are being reconfigured, with a greater premium placed on resilience and reliability.
- The digital shift has accelerated, challenging the viability of current business models, and changing many jobs.
- New areas of growth such as healthcare, sustainability, and artificial intelligence are emerging.
- New jobs are being created, requiring new skills and new ways of working.
Transformation and Growth Strategy
The transformation of the Singapore economy actually began 5 years ago with the development of Industry Transformation Maps for 23 sectors. This has given Singapore a head start when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and accelerated many structural shifts.
To build on our transformation momentum, Mr Heng said $8.3 billion would be allocated over three years to support the Transformation and Growth strategy announced in the Unity Budget in February.
“Firms that have invested in innovation were able to nimbly pivot to new opportunities during this crisis,” Mr Heng said.
Take Decks Private Limited for example. It is a retailer with brands such as Island Shop.
Decks Private Limited revamped its e-commerce platform during the Circuit Breaker and expanded to other e-marketplaces. It saw its online sales increased by tenfold. Decks are now taking the opportunity to expand and hire more workers even though the retail sector has been hard hit.
Another example is Certact Engineering, a precision engineering company.
When the pandemic struck, Certact pivoted to manufacturing parts for high- demand medical equipment like ventilators. Today, the company is working with the union to upskill its workers.
Our startups also contribute to economic growth and our efforts against COVID-19, Mr Heng said.
$150 million will be set aside to enhance the Startup SG Founder programme in phases to spur innovation and entrepreneurship.
“We will raise the startup capital grant and continue to provide mentorship,” Mr Heng said.
Emerging Stronger Taskforce
The Emerging Stronger Taskforce, co-led by Minister Desmond Lee and Mr Tan Chong Meng has consulted widely and is in the midst of a three-month sprint to prototype new ideas through the industry-led Alliances for Action.
Areas being covered include smart commerce and supply chain digitalisation to help businesses “capture new opportunities, create better jobs and reimagine our economy so that we can emerge stronger from the crisis,” Mr Heng said.
We are living in unprecedented times. Let us continue to focus our minds on making the best use of what we have, to build a stronger economy and a more cohesive society. It is a difficult journey ahead, but you will not walk alone. We are faced with an extraordinary crisis, but we are one people with extraordinary courage, commitment, and can-do spirit.
We have the fortitude to improvise, adapt, and overcome the uncertainties. We have the resilience to weather the difficulties, turn challenges into opportunities, and prepare for the future. And we will stand in solidarity as one united Singapore to beat this crisis and emerge stronger as a nation.
– DPM Heng Swee Keat –