Manufacturing will remain a key part of Singapore's economy although it is expected to see greater disruption in the years ahead, as per Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.
The Minister noted that the evolving nature of the industry will change the composition of manufacturing to one of low volume but high-quality products that will need greater skills to produce.
While manufacturing makes up a fifth of Singapore's overall economy but there have been predictions that this will be a slow year for the sector. The sector posted up a growth of 5.5 percent in the last quarter of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017 but output declined 8.7 percent compared with the third quarter, as per recent flash estimates.
As per Mr. Chan, who was speaking at the opening of a new plastic molding center in Tuas built by American medical equipment manufacturer Becton Dickinson, manufacturing can continue to expand if the industry is closely tied to research and development. Also, Singapore has to get its intellectual property protection regime right, in order to give investors the confidence that they will be safeguarded here.
However, he noted that the pursuit of better products, company performance or economic growth is not the end in itself, as in the end workers must benefit by picking up new skills, taking on higher productivity tasks and drawing better paycheques as a result.
The Minister’s remarks on upskilling are in line with the Singapore government’s initiatives to reskill more and more people in the country. As per a recent Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR) published by the Ministry of Finance, Singapore, more job seekers in Singapore are getting jobs and productivity across sectors has increased. The report noted that Government initiatives to drive technology adoption across sectors is helping the overall innovation quotient of the country, which is a much-needed imperative in today’s dynamically changing times.