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New capabilities, entrepreneurship and skills to be used in tackling disruption: PM Lee

Sunday, August 21, 2016 - 20:32
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PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed the need for a strategy in tackling the issue of disruption, at the National Day Rally on Sunday.

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed the need for a strategy in tackling the issue of disruption, at the National Day Rally on Sunday.

"Among all the economic issues we are dealing with - slower growth, helping people upgrade, strengthening safety nets, the defining challenge which we face in this era is disruption," said Mr Lee.

"Disruption will happen over and over again, relentlessly."

Singapore needs an overall strategy to spot where the changes are coming from and respond to successive disruptions, he said.

To this end, the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) will focus on three areas: building new capabilities, promoting entrepreneurship and developing skills.

"We will help companies build new capabilities," said Mr Lee. He highlighted the digital economy as a promising area because Singapore is well-connected and its people are IT-savvy.

"Besides digital, we also need to build capabilities in other sectors, and we have SMEs which can compete with the best in the world, and we should help them to grow, to scale up," Mr Lee said.

Entrepreneurs, too, have an important role to play, Mr Lee added.

Noting their resourcefulness and optimism, the prime minister said: "We need people like that in our society - they play an important role."

Mr Lee also highlighted the importance of the SkillsFuture movement - a national effort to help Singaporeans with career advancement and the development of relevant skills.

"A strong economy... needs a skilled workforce," Mr Lee said.

Giving Singapore's workers skills will enable them to hold better jobs and earn better pay, he added.

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