Mr Raj Joshua Thomas: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the Code of Conduct for Leasing of Retail Premises in Singapore will be extended to other commercial leases such as those for offices and industrial-use premises; (b) whether there is a timeline for the Code of Conduct to be extended to these other types of leases; and (c) whether legislation will be introduced to enforce the Code of Conduct.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing)
1. The Code of Conduct for the Leasing of Retail Premises in Singapore is an industry-led effort, developed jointly by landlords and retail tenants to increase the vibrancy, resilience and competitiveness of Singapore’s retail, food and beverage, and lifestyle sector. The Code addresses the severe challenges that this sector has faced from multiple disruptions and intense competition, especially from e-commerce. Other industries have their own unique circumstances, which may make the Code of Conduct for Leasing of Retail Premises less applicable.
2. As announced in March 2021, the Government has accepted the industry’s recommendation to enact legislation to make compliance with the Code of Conduct mandatory for all retail tenancies in Singapore. Prior to any legislation, key landlord and tenant associations have already pledged that they will adopt the Code from 1 June this year. This is a strong foundation for the retail sector to overcome its challenges and to emerge stronger in a post-COVID world.