As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, it has become increasingly clear that the post-Covid-19 world will not return to business as usual. The looming "new abnormal" has underlined the need to chart a different course for the Singapore economy going forward. The Emerging Stronger Task force (EST), which released its report on Monday, has done a commendable job of addressing the threats and opportunities that lie ahead. Comprising members from both the public and private sectors, the EST has identified the key systemic shifts in the global order, the configuration of industries and supply chains, consumer preferences and social priorities. It has come up with an ambitious blueprint to exploit new opportunities and confront emerging threats. It has even gone to the extent of piloting some new initiatives and created minimum viable products in nine areas such as digitising supply chains, promoting "smart commerce" - combining online and offline threats and building an agritech ecosystem.
The EST has come up with five key recommendations: creating new "virtual frontiers" for commerce, workforce development and tourism; establishing Singapore as a "sustainability hub" to help tackle climate change; nurturing a new generation of large local enterprises; creating new platforms for public-private collaboration; and strengthening international partnerships, especially with South-east Asia.