“Innovate and transform” economy for a more progressive Singapore, says Finance Minister

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Building a forceful economy and creating great job prospects for workers, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat enjoins everyone in helping Singaporean businesses to innovate and transform processes as the country streamlines its economy in the midst of global uncertainties. Alongside the government’s effort to invest in people and equip them with the knowledge and skills for the future, the Minister calls on the public to continue sharing suggestions for the upcoming Budget.

Mr Heng will deliver the 2019 Budget statement on Feb 18 setting out the country’s strategic financial plan.

According to the Finance Minister, the Government has over the years consistently invested in key areas such as education, healthcare, security and infrastructure, which has allowed Singaporeans enjoy a higher quality of life in a safe and secure environment. “We have enhanced government support for different groups, and strengthened community networks to better care for one another,” he added.

However, the challenging global conditions currently taking place must not be underestimated and Singapore must continue with its economic transformation. He calls for all Singaporeans to have a part in bringing about change while the Government works with citizens creating a better future for all.

Research and innovation

The Minister stresses the fact that Singapore’s research, innovation and enterprise efforts will continue to play a major role in driving Singapore’s future economy. “More solutions will be accelerated and deployed to enable economic transformation,” he added. These solutions include the transformation of the maritime and aviation sectors, expansion of investments in digital and automation technologies, covering robotics and artificial intelligence.

The SkillsFuture for Enterprises is aimed to help businesses transform and grow, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo. It will be utilized to help businesses make human capital development a key component of their corporate capabilities, and to better support their internationalization and growth.

More support will be given to mid-career jobseekers and the long-term unemployed, added Mrs Teo. The enhanced “place-and-train” schemes and professional conversion programmes will help more workers re-skill and move into new occupations.

As 2019 is Singapore’s Bicentennial year, marking the 200th anniversary of its modern founding – the 2019 Budget also offers an “opportunity to review Singapore’s progress, and to chart our collective plans to take Singapore forward,” Finance Minister Heng said.