Amid a challenging global environment, Singapore's people and companies have many opportunities to innovate, deepen their skills and capabilities and stay relevant to the world, said the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE).
In its report released yesterday, the CFE sketched its vision of a future economy where people are inspired to learn throughout their lives, businesses are innovative and nimble, the city connected and vibrant, and the government coordinated, inclusive and responsive.
To achieve this, it outlined seven strategies for Singapore to stay ahead:
DEEPEN AND DIVERSIFY INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS
Singapore should boost trade and investment by developing bilateral initiatives, working with multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, and helping its people and companies gain a better understanding of overseas markets.
The committee also recommended forming a Global Innovation Alliance that will see tertiary institutions and companies here link up with overseas partners to promote innovation.
ACQUIRE, UTILISE DEEP SKILLS
Companies should play a bigger role in developing their workers.
Both the private and public sectors should also move towards hiring and promoting workers based on their skills, instead of just academic grades.
STRENGTHEN ENTERPRISE CAPABILITIES TO INNOVATE AND SCALE UP
Promote innovation by strengthening the intellectual property ecosystem, supporting entrepreneurs and raising the profile of local start-ups.
Simpler regulation and incentive schemes should also be rolled out to encourage greater investment in start-ups.
BUILD STRONG DIGITAL CAPABILITIES
Build up expertise in cybersecurity and data analytics, which are high-potential growth industries.
The CFE suggested the Government partners key industry players to train data scientists, use National Service to develop skills in cybersecurity, and attract and anchor vanguard technology firms in niche cybersecurity segments.
It also urged the authorities to come up with flexible regulations to enable the adoption of technology, and help small and medium-sized enterprises adopt digital technologies.
DEVELOP A VIBRANT AND CONNECTED CITY OF OPPORTUNITY
Strengthen our status as a global aviation and shipping hub, leverage on the future high-speed rail line to Kuala Lumpur to create more economic activities in the region, and enhance its digital connectivity.
Create multiple economic clusters of innovation, such as the Jurong Lake District and Punggol, and form more partnerships with private firms.
The CFE recommended that the Government partner the private sector to upgrade Orchard Road into a shopping and lifestyle destination.
DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT INDUSTRY TRANSFORMATION MAPS
This should continue to be customised to suit the needs of each industry.
They should also be grouped into clusters so that the transformation of one industry can have a positive spillover effect on the others.
PARTNER ONE ANOTHER TO ENABLE GROWTH AND INNOVATION
Foster an environment to support innovation and risk taking in the private and public sectors.
Review Singapore's tax system, keeping it broad-based, progressive and fair, while remaining competitive and pro-growth.
Trade associations have their part to play in industry development, for instance, by identifying areas the Government can support.
Unions should help workers prepare for jobs of the future.
This article by The Straits Times was published in The New Paper, a free newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.