Mr Lim Ming Yan, Chairman, Singapore Business Federation
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and a special shout-out to our newly appointed Pro-Enterprise Partners from across 36 Government agencies,
1. Good morning. Welcome to the annual awards ceremony jointly organised by the Pro-Enterprise Panel and the Singapore Business Federation. I am very happy to be here to celebrate yet another year of successful cooperation between businesses and government agencies in nurturing and advancing a pro-enterprise spirit in Singapore.
2. We have come a long way in this effort – in fact, it has been 22 years since the Pro-Enterprise Panel was formed in 2000; this year also marks the 10th edition of the awards ceremony. These two decades worth of effort in ensuringa conducive business environment would not have been possible if not for the tireless contributions of our members in the Pro-Enterprise Paneland SBF. So allow me to express my appreciation to the team. I would also like to extend my warmest congratulationsto all the award recipients present here today.
3. Building a pro-business environment is an effort that never stops. And this is best captured in the theme for today’s award ceremony, “Seizing Opportunities, Encouraging Transformation”. The strong partnership and constant dialogue between government and private sector will remain a key enabler to help companies cope with changes to the global environment.
4. This is especially critical as COVID-19 has presented the need for our businesses to transform. The Government and private sector partnership played an important role in helping businesses digitalise, adapt, and transform their business models to address these challenges.
a. For example, MOH started a regulatory sandbox for telemedicine and mobile medicine and worked closely with the industry to better understand and address the risks associated with these service delivery models. In particular, the telemedicine community was heavily involved in establishing key process and governance controls, and thesecontributed to the development of fit-for-purpose regulatory requirements. Sandbox insights were also collated into a telemedicine e-training programme, to guide doctors and telemedicine providers on the safe use of telemedicine. This open, collaborative effort enabled Singapore to quickly scale up telemedicine during COVID-19 to care for our patients.
5. As the pandemic comes under control progressively, we find ourselves confronting multiple new challenges.
a. The war in Ukraine has disrupted energy and food supplies worldwide, and caused countries to reassess their supply chain management strategies. This has exacerbated global inflationary pressures, and points towards a greater focus on resilience and self-sufficiency.
b. The US-China strategic competition has also intensified, with the US stepping up its pressure especially in areas of critical technologies like semiconductors.
c. All these have clouded the economic outlook and resulted in an overall slowdown in the global economy.
Opportunities in the Green Economy
6. Climate change is another key global challenge, and an increasingly pressing one. Asia in particular isexpected to face heightened risks of extreme weather events. In 2021 alone, over 57 million people were affected by climate disasters in this region.
7. To address the impact of climate change and transition to a low-carbon future, new solutions will be needed, and new business opportunities will emerge. According to McKinsey’s estimates, green businesses in Asia will grow to US$5 trillion by 2030. The potential is tremendous.
8. For businesses to capture new opportunities in the emerging, rapidly developing green economy, innovation is key. To facilitate such innovation, the Government will need a nimble regulatory frameworkto help businesses optimise their resources, guide their activities, and enhance their competitiveness.
Launch of GERI
9. To this end, I am happy to launch the Green Economy Regulatory Initiative, or GERI. GERI is a one-stop platform that pulls together existing sandbox efforts by various regulatory agencies, and facilitates the creation of new sandboxes in the green economy with a shorter timeline. For businesses, this means they can expect a quicker responseand better support from relevant agencies. They will also be able to trial innovative and potentially impactful concepts at a faster pace.
10. GERI builds on the ongoing efforts by several agencies that already offer sandboxes. For instance, LTA recently awarded an Electric Vehicle (EV) regulatory sandbox to MOBatteries, a Singaporean electric motorbike charging solutions provider. MO Batteries will partner Singapore Post and Prosegur Singapore to trial charging detachable electric motorcycle batteries at MO Batteries’ premises, and then delivering fully charged batteries to battery store-and-swap stations at Singapore Post and Prosegur’s premises. The sandbox will help us understand the safety considerations for battery swapping, and could be an enabler for electric motorcycle adoption, if assessed to be a safe and suitable solution for the local market. This will support Singapore’s plans to green our transport sector, and Singapore’s broader move towards a low-carbon future.
11. Through the GERI, we hope to help more companies seize new green growth opportunities, and develop sustainable products and services.This will help enhance their value proposition and relevance in a low-carbon future. Through our industry engagements, we have seen interest in areas such as renewable energy and the circular economy, and we look forward to receiving many more proposals.
12. Amidst the global geopolitical and economic uncertainties today, we must be bold and open to embrace the paradigm shifts,transform our businesses, innovate and develop new capabilities. The Government will continue to play our part to evolve our pro-enterprise regulatory ecosystem and enable businesses to thrive in the changing global environment today. With the strong partnership between the Government and businesses, I am confident that we can propel our economy to greater heights.
13. Thank you, and congratulations once again to all the award winners.