Step up government and private sector partnership to drive Singapore's development: Lawrence Wong

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The private sector and the Government must strengthen their partnership to ensure that future development plans for Singapore are realised, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday.

That was one of the key areas the Committee on the Future Economy is studying.

One partnership model under study is a "master developer" approach for developing new districts, which will provide more flexibility for developers.

Mr Wong cited Marina Bay, noting that the larger sites offered for tender "allowed the developer to optimise different land uses and build in a more integrated manner... It also helped to mitigate the risk by giving the developers options to phase out the projects," he added.

Another partnership model under consideration is what is called "business improvement districts (BID)", which are set up and funded by businesses in a defined commercial area to make the place more attractive. These districts are already operating in countries such as Germany, Japan, Britain, New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

"It allows stakeholders to have direct ownership and responsibility in implementing plans for an area, and it helps to bring in additional vibrancy to the area," noted Mr Wong, who was speaking at the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) 57th anniversary dinner.

Mr Wong said other ideas being considered by the Committee on the Future Economy include developing new economic clusters outside the city, expanding space options via land reclamation and using underground space better.

Another priority is to ensure that infrastructure plans are ready for the digital economy as Singapore strives to be a "data and digital port".

The Government will study ways to build up the country's digital network infrastructure including better connections through sub-sea fibre optic cables and enhancing domestic wireless networks.

The Committee on the Future Economy, which was announced last October, is tasked with charting the course of Singapore's future economy - studying key areas that are crucial to sustaining eonomic growth and helping workers to upgrade their skills.