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Key challenge to formulate inclusive economic policies: Iswaran

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The acceleration of global economic change opens up opportunities, but also cause dislocations to both firms and workers, said Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran on Friday morning.

THE acceleration of global economic change opens up opportunities, but also cause dislocations to both firms and workers, said Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran on Friday morning.

In his keynote speech at the 2017 Singapore Economic Policy Forum, he said that the challenge for every country is to formulate a policy response that will seize opportunities, mitigate the impact of disruption and to ensure "inclusive economic growth that can benefit all".

The policies that the government have embarked on - to internationalise and embrace technological change - may be supported by "sound economic theory", but also results in greater competition where some could be left behind, he added.

Challenges include stagnation of incomes, as well as varying levels of productivity among firms.

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To address them, Mr Iswaran said that there are two prongs to the approach: build deep skills in people, and to support enterprises to adopt technologies, innovate and scale up.

There are also opportunities to be had, especially in the rapid growth of Asean. Deepening and diversifying international connections will continue, and companies must position themselves to leverage this, he added.

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