Govt sets aside $42 million to enhance productivity of 15 economic sectors

The Singapore Central Business District skyline by night. The Government is calling for proposals to help entire sectors of the economy improve their productivity. It has set aside $42 million to implement the best suggestions, in an effort that is b
The Singapore Central Business District skyline by night. The Government is calling for proposals to help entire sectors of the economy improve their productivity. It has set aside $42 million to implement the best suggestions, in an effort that is being led by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) in conjunction with other government agencies. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The Government is calling for proposals to help entire sectors of the economy improve their productivity.

It has set aside $42 million to implement the best suggestions, in an effort that is being led by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) in conjunction with other government agencies.

Those interested in participating must propose solutions that address a key gap in the chosen sector.

The proposals must also draw the interest of at least 10 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and must help increase the productivity of these SMEs by at least 20 per cent in their core business process.

For example, a successful proposal might suggest a method of integrating supply chains for a specific sector. This in turn would benefit individual firms, which could see lower costs as a result of economies of scale.

Some 15 sectors are being targeted in this effort, including - for the first time - the chemical, landscaping and traditional Chinese medicine sectors.

This is more than the six sectors that benefited from a similar productivity drive last year that focused on the use of software as a service solution.

IDA is working with several trade associations in the attempt to improve companies' productivity, including the Landscape Industry Association Singapore (Lias).

Its treasurer, Sherlyn Ong, said one possible project could be the implementation of an IT procurement system for the sector. Individual landscaping firms can then use the system to check the types of plants and trees available and make their own purchases.

Other than IDA, the other government agencies involved in the effort include Spring Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology and Institute for Infocomm Research.