Assoc Prof Daniel Goh: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) whether the Government agrees with the recent criticisms of the Industry Transformation Maps expressed at a pre-Budget roundtable organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants on 9 January 2018 and how the Government is responding to these criticisms.
- The development and implementation of Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) is one of the strategies recommended by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) to transform our economy and create opportunities for our people. Each ITM is tailored to the needs of specific industries and brings together all relevant stakeholders, coordinated by a lead government agency. As we have emphasised from the outset, the transformation of our industries requires the collective effort of the tripartite partners.
- In particular, trade associations and chambers (TACs), unions, and businesses are actively involved in the Future Economy Council (FEC) and its sub-committees, with a key role in shaping and communicating the ITMs. For example, the Economic Development Board (EDB) has worked closely with its tripartite partners to develop the Aerospace ITM. This included a forum organised by EDB and the Association of Aerospace Industries (Singapore) in April 2017, for the business community to discuss the Aerospace ITM before its launch last month. Separately, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Aerospace & Aviation Cluster consolidated valuable suggestions and feedback from union leaders.
- The ITMs aim to help all enterprises in their transformation journey, but especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who may lack the resources and capacity. This includes helping SMEs to raise productivity, develop talent, harness innovation and pursue internationalization through government schemes, such as SPRING Singapore’s Capability Development Grant and the SMEs Go Digital programme. The formation of Enterprise Singapore will give further impetus to this effort.
- However, it is not possible for the government to reach out directly to each of our over 200,000 enterprises. Hence, TACs and unions must help to propagate the message to their members. Individual workers and business owners must also take the initiative to find out more about the ITMs and how they can benefit from them.