SINGAPORE must shift from being a value-adding economy to a value-creating one, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Wednesday.
This means a greater focus on new possibilities and opportunities, and on innovation and differentiation - such that Singapore can compete on the basis of special capabilities.
Speaking at the Semi-Centennial Leadership Conference organised by the Singapore Business Federation, Mr Heng said Singapore cannot simply produce what the world is producing, and expect to command a premium or sustain its competitive edge.
"We have to produce what the rest of the world is not producing, or at least, not much of. To do so, we have to build deep capabilities and linkages, in our companies, in our industries and in our economy, to create new products and deliver better solutions, in cost-effective, innovative ways," stressed Mr Heng.
This is in contrast to a value-adding economy, which looks at what products, services, or ideas already exist, and then proposes improvements to add incremental value.