In order to govern for the long term, leadership team development is key, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said yesterday at a bilateral forum with Chinese officials.
He cited this as one of three key ingredients that Singapore has in its recipe for a coherent and far-sighted government that allows its people to thrive, alongside fiscal sustainability and infrastructure investment.
"Leadership team development to govern well is not something that can be left to chance," he said at the 7th Singapore-China Forum on Leadership at the China Executive Leadership Academy here.
"Both our countries know how important leadership is."
Talent alone is insufficient for good governance, said Mr Chan, who emphasised the need for teamwork and forgoing personal ambition.
"To bring capable individuals to serve is one thing, to build them into a cohesive team that puts the country's interest foremost - above and before their personal interests - is another," he said.
This applies to Singapore's public service as well, said Mr Chan, who is also Minister-in-charge of the Public Service. He used a Chinese proverb - one strand does not equal a thread, nor does one tree a forest - to drive home the point.
He also counselled that in today's interconnected world, might no longer conquers as effectively as winning others over through the power of setting a positive example through one's values.
Singapore's success depends on the success and stability of the global system, and the Republic will continue to work with like-minded countries to uphold the global trading system, multilateral institutions and a rules-based global order, he said.
This includes working constructively to support reforms to the World Trade Organisation system, develop new, inclusive and fair rules for the digital economy, and build open and integrated regional trade architecture such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, he added.
"We will continue to do all these and many more, to do what is right, within our means," he said.