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Government and businesses need to move towards Partnership 2.0: Chan Chun Sing

THE relationship between the government and businesses in Singapore has to evolve into one where both parties can debate, deliberate and co-create a business environment that is conducive to growth, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said.

"This is also key to how we see governance going forward. It is never about one party highlighting their challenges or problems and leaving another party to solve them," Mr Chan said in a speech at the Pro-Enterprise Panel-Singapore Business Federation (PEP-SBF) Awards 2019 ceremony on Tuesday.

"Instead, the Singapore approach is that when we see a problem, be it raised by the government or raised by businesses, we will all come together to solve it together because we are one Team Singapore," he said to over 200 private and public sector leaders attending the event.

This new regulatory environment is what Mr Chan calls "progressive, enabling and pioneering" - PEP 2.0 - an evolution from PEP 1.0 which is characterised by regulation that is “simultaneously protective, efficient and predictable”.

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Protective regulation is about being effective in protecting public interest, efficient regulation is about minimising compliance and enforcement cost and predictable regulation is about adopting a consistent logic in rule-making, he said.

"We will not succeed with Partnership 1.0, where businesses provide feedback to the government who then try to deliver a solution," Mr Chan said.

Instead, PEP 2.0 is needed to generate a greater competitive advantage for Singapore, which Mr Chan said can be summarised as the "risk-managed and timely facilitation of business growth".

Progressive regulation is about optimising regulations at the system level, while enabling regulation is about facilitating new business ideas. Pioneering regulation has two aspects - first, identifying and assessing major trends before they evolve into business ideas and, secondly, to go beyond Singapore’s borders to establish regulatory networks, Mr Chan said.

In the spirit of this collaborative approach, Mr Chan also unveiled a new PEP logo that consists of two speech bubbles and symbolises an active conversation between businesses and the government.

A total of 16 awards were also given out to businesses, trade associations and public agencies at the event to recognise the collaborative efforts of government agencies and businesses in enhancing Singapore’s business environment.

This year, three companies won awards for their suggestions which made a difference.

One of them is Udders Ice-Cream, which suggested removing restrictions under the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act for sale of alcoholic food products.