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Opening remarks by Minister Iswaran at the inauguration ceremony of CII-SLA’S First Virtual Training Course In Logistics, “Digital Supply Chain Transformation”

Opening remarks by Minister Iswaran at the inauguration ceremony of CII-SLA’S First Virtual Training Course In Logistics, “Digital Supply Chain Transformation”

Distinguished Guests, Course Participants, 

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Introduction

1. I am happy to join you at today’s inauguration of “Digital Supply Chain Transformation”, the first of two virtual International Certification courses co-delivered by the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Institute of Logistics and the Singapore Logistics Association. 

2. This collaboration brings together the knowledge and expertise of two of our national-level trade associations to propel the logistics industry forward.  It marks yet another milestone in the deepening economic partnership between Singapore and India. 

Adapting to COVID-19 & Looking Ahead

3. The modality and theme of the course we are launching today is particularly fitting in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

4. More than a year since the virus outbreak, travel restrictions and safe distancing measures remain in place.  Rather than be constrained by these circumstances, Singapore and India are finding new ways to work together. In October last year, for example, CII and Enterprise Singapore initiated a virtual e-commerce mission to ensure business continuity in exporter-importer matching. The mission connected exporters of Ayurveda products with Singapore partners who could sell their products via local e-commerce platforms. 

5. Virtual training courses, such as this one, will help India and Singapore sustain our cross-border exchange of ideas.  Thanks to technology, we can continue to learn from each other as we build our capabilities, and co-develop innovative solutions for complex challenges we are facing today.  

6. COVID-19 has also led to profound disruptions in global supply chains, requiring governments and companies to find new solutions to meet citizens’ and consumers’ needs. The logistics industry has had to pivot their operations to cope with lockdowns and other disruptions. We can learn from earlier investments in digital solutions by some logistics providers that have strengthened their resilience to the turbulence. 

7. One case in point is YCH Group’s adoption of robotic automation in their warehouses, which has reduced their dependency on labour-intensive methods and improved the speed, accuracy and efficiency of their operations. This far-sighted investment enabled YCH to overcome manpower limitations when Singapore underwent a circuit breaker period to curb the spread of the virus. 

8. Another example is the CALISTA Platform developed by PSA’s subsidiary, Global eTrade Services. This platform uses blockchain and track-and-trace technologies to provide stakeholders with real-time digital visibility over their entire supply chain.  Such visibility allows them to promptly identify blockages and make timely cost-optimising decisions, improving shipment fulfillment.

9. The course will impart strategies and best practices such as these, and help participants harness digital supply chains to future-proof their businesses.  I encourage participants to make full use of the opportunities to learn from experts and thought leaders in the course, who will share from their wealth of experience in the logistics industry.

10. With the multitude of opportunities arising from digitalisation, I look forward to the roll-out of more virtual training courses and continued private sector engagements in other industries of economic significance to Singapore and India. Building on the close and enduring relationship between our Governments, national trade associations, businesses and peoples, there are many more possibilities in the digital economy we can unlock together.

Closing

11. Although we are presently grappling with the pandemic, there will come a time when COVID-19 will no longer slow our economic progress. We must ready ourselves and use this intervening period to invest, innovate and develop our capabilities so that we are poised to meet the needs of a post-COVID world.

12. In closing, I would like to wish the Government of India and CII every success in expanding the economy and contributing to the flow of trade in the world. I am optimistic about the mutual benefits that the Singapore-India partnership brings and look forward to more collaborations in the years to come.

13. Thank you.

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