Road maps for economic sectors being developed

They will cater to needs of over 20 sectors, helping them to lift productivity, innovation

Tourists walking along the path on the waterfront promenade, along Marina Bay Sands against the skyline of the Central Business District. PHOTO: ST FILE

Teams are being set up to develop road maps for more than 20 economic sectors as part of efforts to get Singapore's companies future-ready.

In his first comments since the Budget last Thursday, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday that these Industry Transformation Maps, as they are known, are tailored to the needs of each industry and aim to lift productivity, invest in skills, drive innovation and promote internationalisation.

These will chart the path for industries covering 80 per cent of the country's economic output.

The maps will feature plans on how to strengthen integration across companies within a specific sector through collaborations, said Mr Heng, speaking on the side-lines of a visit to precision engineering firm Feinmetall Singapore in Marsiling.

Feinmetall general manager Sam Chee Wah said precision engineering companies would certainly benefit from sharing resources such as infrequently used equipment.

"I have expensive measurement equipment that cost about $300,000, which I use only once a month or once a week. So, it would be good if we had a system where, if fellow SMEs need to, they could come and use it," he said.

The Industry Transformation Maps come under the $4.5 billion Industry Transformation Programme unveiled in the Budget last week.

The teams for each sector will comprise officers from agencies such as the Economic Development Board (EDB), Spring Singapore, IE Singapore and Workforce Development Agency.

These "cluster champions" will lead the development of the road maps and engage trade associations and companies in efforts that will bring to life the Budget's theme of "Partnering for the Future".

"If we want a more vibrant economy, we need that vibrant partnership," Mr Heng said.

"I am hoping to give this a much bigger push because the challenges that we are going to face will be much more complex and diverse; it is going to be a much more fast- moving world, and therefore our ability to respond to changes requires us to pool our knowledge together in a much more targeted fashion and in a way that allows us to create solutions and have those solutions proliferate."

He did not say when the road maps will be unveiled, but said discussions on the plans for logistics and precision engineering are at a "far more advanced stage", and that food and beverage, retail and tourism will get their own road maps.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, who was also at the site visit, elaborated that EDB has been appointed the lead agency for the precision engineering road map.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2016, with the headline Road maps for economic sectors being developed. Subscribe