Budget 2016: Philips expects stronger focus on fostering, harnessing innovations

Mr Fabian Wong, Philips' chief executive for Asean and Pacific, believes locally driven innovations will benefit Singapore and its population the most, as they solve local needs and are meaningful to the community.
Mr Fabian Wong, Philips' chief executive for Asean and Pacific, believes locally driven innovations will benefit Singapore and its population the most, as they solve local needs and are meaningful to the community.ST FILE PHOTO

The Sunday Times speak to a multinational, a small and medium-sizedenterprise and a Singaporean worker to find out what they hope this year's Budget will bring.

The solution to operating in a slowing economy with increasing costs is for companies to step up innovations, says Philips' chief executive for Asean and Pacific, Mr Fabian Wong.

The world is a very different place from five years ago with innovations in technology rapidly changing the way things are done, he notes.

"We hope for a stronger focus on fostering and harnessing technological innovations to drive value creation in Singapore," says Mr Wong.

He believes that innovations that are locally driven will benefit Singapore and its population the most, as they solve local needs and are meaningful to the community.

"We would like to see greater encouragement from the Government to create ecosystems to provide more and better opportunities for businesses here to co-innovate and ultimately, create value for the Singapore society to continue growing."

Mr Wong points out that many companies like Philips are also concerned about finding the right talent and leaders.

  • THE COMPANY

  • • Dutch multinational Philips set up shop in Singapore in 1951 with four employees importing and selling lighting products, radios and gramophones.

    • Today, it employs 900 people locally and identifies itself as a "diversified health and well-being" company focused on healthcare, lighting and consumer lifestyle.

"It is important to invest in areas that the next generation of Singaporeans will be able to create and own," says Mr Wong.

The Government can encourage more companies to work with schools and tertiary institutions to help workers make a seamless transition from learning to real-world application.

"In particular, curriculums that promote innovation through design bode well for Singapore in its pursuit to drive value creation."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 20, 2016, with the headline 'Philips expects stronger focus on fostering, harnessing innovations'. Print Edition | Subscribe