Business

CFE's plan for legal, accounting industries

The Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) has charted a way forward for the legal and accounting industries here.

The legal and accounting services working group under the CFE has recently finished its year-long study and tabled 15 recommendations yesterday.

The implementation of these plans will be coordinated by the Professional Services Programme Office, a new inter-agency unit set up by the Law Ministry, Finance Ministry, Economic Development Board and Monetary Authority of Singapore. It will be opened in May.

One key thrust of the recommendations stressed the need to develop "future-ready" professionals with multi-disciplinary skill sets.

This should see institutes of higher learning adjust their curricula and programmes to better equip future lawyers and accountants.

There should also be programmes for mid- to senior-level accountants and lawyers to be seconded to clients for international exposure.

Singapore is geographically placed to export legal and accounting services to the regional markets, to serve nine high-growth practice areas such as corporations, business valuation and intellectual property, Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah said.

Another aspect of the recommendations focused on technology and innovation for greater productivity, particularly at the smaller firms.

One possible way to do so is to have open application programme interfaces to allow new digital solutions to be developed.

Concerns of an oversupply of lawyers here have emerged in recent years, but Ms Indranee stressed that the two industries are in a good shape, with demand outstripping supply as long as companies look beyond these shores for growth.

whwong@sph.com.sg

technologyMINISTRY OF LAW (MINLAW)Singapore