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New panel set up to boost productivity drive

It'll advance efforts by SkillsFuture, National Productivity Council

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HIGH-POWERED TEAM: Mr Tharman will head the new 26-strong council, which has key private and public-sector names.

Singapore

THE government has set up a new Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity (CSIP), and appointed Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam as the chair of this tripartite body.

The council, set up on Friday, will advance the efforts by the SkillsFuture Council and the National Productivity Council.

Mr Tharman, who is also the coordinating minister for economic and social policies, is also the chairman of these two councils.

The CSIP will also develop and implement the Industry Transformation Maps that were announced at this year's Budget.

More than 20 sectors in Singapore are set to get their own such map, tailored to their specific needs, to help companies drive productivity and innovation, invest in skills and promote internationalisation.

The 26-member CSIP reads like a Who's Who of some of the most prominent leaders in the public and private sectors. They have been appointed for an initial term of two years.

Besides Mr Tharman, there are six Cabinet members including Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say and the Ministry of Trade and Industry's Lim Hng Kiang and S Iswaran.

Among the other council members are Singapore Business Federation chairman Teo Siong Seng, CapitaLand president and group CEO Lim Ming Yan, and KPMG Singapore managing partner Tham Sai Choy.

The new council will take into account the relevant recommendations of the Committee on the Future Economy, which is expected to complete its work by the end of this year.

Mr Tharman said: "The CSIP builds on the momentum we have seen in the last two years. It is especially important that we extend the good progress seen in the externally-oriented sectors to the domestically-oriented sectors.

"It takes time, but can be done. We must persist, and work simultaneously on skills development, catalysing industry innovation and productivity transformation in every sector."