Singapore

Singapore seeks to boost growth with new projects

It will also take new collaborative approach, industry-led groups given leeway to prototype new ideas

As Singapore resets its economy to navigate a post-pandemic world, it has decided to take a fresh approach to growth and initiated several projects that could hold the key to the future.

These range from the safe and gradual resumption of large-scale conferences to a trial of autonomous shuttles, revealed the Emerging Stronger Taskforce (EST), six months after it started exploring new ideas to reignite the economy.

The EST is also adding a new area of focus, medical technology, which will look into developing diagnostics for diseases such as Covid-19 and cancer. It is also looking at tie-ups with South-east Asian partners.

Giving an update on the work of the task force yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat noted it has taken a new approach to collaboration under which industry-led groups dubbed Singapore Together Alliances for Action are given leeway - much like start-ups - to prototype new ideas.

SPIRIT

"This is in keeping with the spirit of Singapore Together, where we work in partnership to achieve more than the sum of our parts," said Mr Heng, referring to the movement he and his fourth-generation colleagues started to give citizens more say in policymaking.

"This new approach to economic growth will propel our economy through Covid into a new normal post-pandemic," he added.

Members of the task force said at a press conference that this has allowed the private and public sectors to work alongside each other as partners - rather than as regulators and the regulated.

PSA International group chief executive officer Tan Chong Meng, an EST co-chair, described it as "crossing the stream while feeling the stones", rather than feeling all the stones and mapping out the way before crossing the stream.

A project by the meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions alliance to pilot rapid testing at mass events saw all visitors to last month's Singapore International Energy Week tested on the spot before being allowed into the venue.

The alliance on robotics has initiated a project that will see early versions of autonomous vehicles deployed by the end of the year.

And the alliance on supply chains has brought together 50 organisations to create a set of data standards that will allow different segments of the supply chain ecosystem to work together.

The other four alliances are looking at sustainability, digitalising the built environment, smart commerce and education technology.

In all, the seven alliances have collectively engaged over 600 people and over 330 businesses, trade associations and chambers and public agencies, among others.

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BUSINESS & FINANCE