The Straits Times
Published on Sep 30, 2012

Government will help manufacturing firms: PM Lee

But they must do their part to upgrade by tapping schemes and working together


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday night promised to help manufacturing firms adapt to a changing economic landscape, but urged them to also do their part by upgrading themselves and working together to overcome their size constraints.

He also acknowledged the challenges they faced, such as a labour crunch and the tightening of foreign worker inflows.

"We can't guarantee that every single company will always succeed, but we are committed to help every company find a way forward," he told 1,500 business leaders at the Singapore Manufacturing Federation's (SMF) 80th anniversary dinner at Marina Bay Sands. The federation, which has more than 3,000 corporate members, was formed in 1932 to champion the manufacturing sector.

In recent months, many companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises have raised concerns about difficulties finding manpower, just as the country continues to make moves to tighten the tap on foreign workers.