13 new faces on the Future Economy Council

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat (foreground), who chairs the Future Economy Council, with fellow council members, including Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Senior Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling, on a tour of the SingPost Regional eCommerce
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat (foreground), who chairs the Future Economy Council, with fellow council members, including Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Senior Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling, on a tour of the SingPost Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub yesterday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
The new council met for the first time on Nov 16, 2018, at the SingPost Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub.
The new council met for the first time on Nov 16, 2018, at the SingPost Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The committee that charts the direction of Singapore's economy and seeks the transformation of major industries has added 13 new faces into its ranks.

The additions, which include political office-holders and private industry experts, have expanded the Future Economy Council's leadership team from 31 to 33, it was announced on Friday (Nov 16) .

They replace outgoing former ministers Lim Hng Kiang and Lim Swee Say, Central Singapore District mayor Denise Phua and other members from the private sector.

The 13 new members include National Trades Union Congress secretary-general and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Ng Chee Meng; Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee; Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah; Nanyang Technological University president Subra Suresh; National University of Singapore president Tan Eng Chye; Khoo Teck Puat Hospital chief executive Chew Kwee Tiang and Accenture Singapore senior managing director Teo Lay Lim.

The new members were picked after consultations with various bodies representing the Government, unions, trade associations and chambers, industry, and educational and training institutions.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who chairs the council, said: "At the same time, we want to make sure that the members can complement one another, contribute fresh perspective and at the same time, spread the message of transformation.

The new council met for the first time on Friday at the SingPost Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub in Greenwich Drive.

 
 

Mr Heng told the media after a tour of the hub that the national industry transformation effort, which comprises 23 key economic sectors from logistics to financial services, has seen "encouraging progress in many sectors".

"If you look at the overall productivity growth last year, it was 4.5 per cent, the highest that we have had in seven years. This is a very major change," he said.

Accenture's Ms Teo, one of the new council members, said the rules of industry have changed as competition has become faster and more agile with technological advancements.

She said her experience in a global consulting firm will help her contribute to the council in this regard.

Re-appointed member Kenneth Loo, the president of the Singapore Contractors Association, said he hopes that associations like his can bring more to the table.

Mr Loo said: "In today's context, we cannot work in silos. We have to work across, not only within my sector, but others as well. That is how we can transform the industry."