Press Release: Committee on the Future Economy charts Singapore's next phase of growth, 9 Feb 2017

09 Feb 2017

Committee on the Future Economy charts Singapore’s next phase of growth

  •      Build open and connected economy with deep capabilities
  •      Opportunities with sustainable wage growth for all Singaporeans

1.     The Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) has completed its work and has submitted its recommendations to the Prime Minister.


2.     Over the past year, the Committee, five Subcommittees and working groups held in-depth discussions, deep dives, meetings and focus groups involving more than 2,000 people. It consulted over 9,000 stakeholders, including trade associations and chambers (TACs), public agencies, unions, companies, executives, workers, academics, educators, and students.


3.     There have been significant structural shifts in our external environment in the last few years. Global growth has been subdued and is expected to be lower than in the previous decade. Global productivity growth has been sluggish, though technological changes could yet generate new waves of innovation and breakthroughs. Growth in the US has recovered since the Global Financial Crisis, but not to pre-crisis levels. Europe continues to face structural problems, including high youth unemployment. Asia remains a bright spot, with some economies growing rapidly.


4.     The Committee has studied these global trends and re-examined Singapore’s operating assumptions and model, to chart our next phase of growth. It has identified seven mutually-reinforcing strategies that will maximise the chances of Singapore’s success:


(i)     Deepen and diversify our international connections

(ii)     Acquire and utilise deep skills

(iii)     Strengthen enterprise capabilities to innovate and scale up

(iv)     Build strong digital capabilities

(v)     Develop a vibrant and connected city of opportunity

(vi)     Develop and implement Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs)

(vii)     Partner each other to enable innovation and growth


Please refer to the CFE report at this link.


5.     Co-Chair of CFE and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat said: “I would like to thank all CFE members and stakeholders for contribution to this report. The CFE recommends that, in the face of unprecedented global challenges and greater uncertainty, our response must be to keep Singapore relevant to the world.


The CFE’s strategies and recommendations will help us keep Singapore open and connected to the world, while building deep capabilities in our people and businesses to benefit from the opportunities that we can create. As we put these strategies into action, we must find new ways of working together to achieve our shared goal of sustaining growth and creating good jobs for all Singaporeans.”


6.     Co-Chair of CFE and Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr S Iswaran added: “With rapid changes in the global economy, the imperative for Singapore remains the same – to be an open economy that is connected to the world and relevant to its needs. The CFE recommendations aim to help our people and our enterprises develop deep capabilities that will enable Singapore to reshape our economy and seize new opportunities at home and globally. Ultimately, our efforts must translate into better opportunities for all Singaporeans, with sustainable wage growth and meaningful careers, and a conducive environment for firms to start, grow and soar.”


7.     The Government will provide its response in the 2017 Budget Speech and Committee of Supply (COS) Debates. The full CFE report will be available on from 9 February 2017.


9 February 2017

The Committee on the Future Economy (CFE)


About the CFE


The Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) was established in January 2016 to build on the Economic Strategies Committee’s work, and to take a fresh look to address the new challenges that Singapore face. The 30-member committee comprises members from different industries that operate in both global and domestic markets, as well as enterprises both large and small. It is co-chaired by Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, and Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr S Iswaran.


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