S’pore needs to build new growth engines to remain competitive and continue investing in its people: Gan Kim Yong

SINGAPORE – New engines of growth are needed to strengthen Singapore’s economic resilience, even as it continues to invest in its people so the workforce remains relevant.

Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said there is a need to identify new opportunities for Singapore to remain competitive amid headwinds in the global economy.

As it does so, the Government will also continue to invest in the training and upgrading of its people, to ensure that the Singapore workforce remains relevant and competitive amidst rapid technological changes and disruptions.

“As businesses innovate, restructure and renew their business models, Singaporeans must also play our part,” said Mr Gan on Friday.

“We must continue to deepen our skills and widen our skill sets, remain nimble, and stand ready to seize the opportunities that are being created.”

The minister, who was speaking at the 14th annual Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) Economic Dialogue held at Singapore Management University, said workers will also have to take ownership for their own training and upgrading.

This includes embracing lifelong learning and training, a move that can be achieved with the support of businesses.

“It is a necessary journey to keep the workers relevant to the new economy that is emerging,” he said.

At the event, Mr Gan discussed with students from local universities the key economic issues Singapore is facing.

He outlined the ongoing challenges of inflation, the slowing global economy and pressures on global trade, the importance of upholding a rules-based international trade system, as well as how the Republic is dealing with them.

He said efforts to transform the economy are underway, pointing to the strategies outlined in the Singapore Economy 2030 plan.

Mr Gan had unveiled the vision in March this year, which is driven by strategies across four key pillars of the Singapore economy – manufacturing, trade, enterprises and services.

On Friday, Mr Gan presented the Economist Service Scholarship to five recipients and the MTI Economist Service Undergraduate Awards to some of the top economics students in local universities.