S&T as a key driver for long-term economic competitiveness and maintaining Singapore’s international connectivity
1. Good afternoon, friends from the media. I will elaborate on what DPM has mentioned for the manufacturing, trade and connectivity sector.
2. We have every intention in having manufacturing, particularly advanced manufacturing, as a significant proportion of our economy. Today, manufacturing contributes about 20% to our GDP, and we have every intention for the greater part of this 20% to transit to what we call advanced manufacturing, in time to come.
a. The nature of manufacturing is undergoing a transformative change, propelled by artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, and huge amounts of computational power.
b. Going forward, the competitiveness of our manufacturing system will depend on the speed at which we can innovate our products and our production system.
c. There are now platforms like the Siemens Advanced Manufacturing Transformation Centre, that allow us to provide a service to help our manufacturing firms level up their design and production capabilities, both at the product and production system level.
d. So, we see bright prospects for manufacturing going forward, and we want it to be maintained as a key pillar of our economy.
3. The second set of issues has to do with connectivity. We are looking at the next generation of transport solutions.
a. At the macro level – how do we optimise our transport solutions, both using multi-modal and data to optimise the flow of people and logistics within our country. The multi-modal means what we do external to the country. Within the country, how do we use data to optimise the flow of logistics and people?
b. So these are the two things that we are doing, and this is very much driven by two sets of forces. The drive for efficiency to drive down costs, and the sustainability agenda that Min Grace has mentioned. This is very interesting work that not many countries and not many cities are doing. And if we can develop a model that can optimise our transportation needs, then it is also an exportable solution for other cities.
4. The third area has to do with trade and the resilience of our supply chains.
a. Over the last 12 months, through COVID-19, we have seen how both natural causes and the pandemic have disrupted our supply chains. We have also seen how man-made factors like export restriction policies have compounded the disruption of our supply chains.
b. So we are looking at understanding the system at two levels to strengthen the resilience of our supply chains.
c. At one level, at the macro level, how do we diversify our stockpile and combine it with local production to provide ourselves with the strongest and most resilient, supply chain system for our own needs.
d. At the second level, we will have to look at the individual level at the various items and products to see how to strengthen the supply chains across the portfolio of needs that we have, from food to intermediate industrial products.
5. These are essentially some of the exciting research areas that we hope to go into in the next five years for manufacturing, connectivity, and trade resilience. Thank you very much.