Govt to help 3 industries in need of revamp

Govt to help 3 industries in need of revamp
Mr Tharman (in pink) chatting with union leaders at the NTUC Ordinary Delegates Conference on Tuesday. He sketched the improvements lying ahead for the retail, logistics and construction industries, and said that their success would further fuel Singapore’s humming economy.

Singapore needs to revamp three industries to ensure they move up the productivity ladder and grow, and on Tuesday, the Government pledged to help them in their climb.

The three laggards are: retail, logistics and construction.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in identifying them, also said that Singapore will be "as aggressive as it takes" to transform them into not only leaner players but also bigger earners.

Their success, he added, would further fuel Singapore's humming economy.

Mr Tharman, who is also the Finance Minister, was speaking at the opening of a key biennial meeting of union leaders, who will spend the next two days outlining the goals of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) for the next two years.

Using a chart, he showed that the changes in store are grounded in a strong foundation.

Singapore's job and income growth in recent years has defied the trend of high unemployment and falling income levels seen in major economies such as the United States and Japan.

In the last five years, Singapore's cumulative real median household income grew by 17.7 per cent while its jobless rate this year is 3 per cent.

In contrast, the US unemployment rate is 7.6 per cent and real median income fell 8.3 per cent.

Singapore, however, cannot rest on its laurels. It needs to continue to grow and ensure that the expansion benefits all Singaporeans. Amid the changes, it also has to maintain social cohesion.

Hence the need to improve productivity, Mr Tharman said as he sketched the improvements lying ahead for the three industries.

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