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JTC spells out 3 key commitments in face of new industrial revolution at 50th anniversary

IN the face of uncertain global geopolitics, accelerating technological revolution and changing domestic demographics, government agency and industrial landlord JTC has spelt out three key commitments at this critical juncture of a new industrial revolution.

It will continue to embrace ambitious visions through complex projects, build on the close partnership with fellow economic agencies and business communities, and continue to embrace the "Singapore model of development" with a long-term view.

In conjunction with its 50th anniversary, it has launched a microsite tracing Singapore's industrialisation journey and economic transformation, JTC's journey through the decades and a glimpse into the future.

On June 1, which is the exact date JTC was formed 50 years ago, it will be installing a time capsule containing items representative of Singapore's industrialisation journey at its first permanent headquarters at the Jurong Town Hall.

The time capsule was sealed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at JTC's 50th anniversary dinner on Friday and is to be opened during JTC's 75th anniversary. JTC's first time capsule was buried by the late Hon Sui Sen, then Minister for Finance, at the Jurong Town Hall in 1974, and was unearthed in 2001.

Initially known as Jurong Town Corporation, the government agency was set up to oversee the development of Singapore's first industrial estate, and to launch Singapore's industrialisation drive, starting with the development of the Jurong Industrial Estate.

PM Lee reminded his audience in his speech at Shangri-La Hotel how JTC has played an important role in Singapore's progress from Third World to First, transforming Jurong from swamp land to a bustling new town. This Jurong Town model became the inspiration for the Suzhou Industrial Park, Singapore's first government-to-government project with China.

As Singapore's industrialisation plans took off, JTC's portfolio also expanded islandwide. JTC has since stepped up its capabilities as Singapore's economy moved up the value chain. Its mission also evolved when Singapore's economy diversified beyond manufacturing, such as building a petrochemical hub and creating knowledge-based precincts.

Mr Lee also lauded JTC for focusing its resources on areas which the private sector is unable or unwilling to do - a principle that is applied in planning the Jurong Innovation District (JID) and Punggol Digital District (PDD).

JTC chairman Loo Choon Yong said at the anniversary dinner that JTC will seek to retain the JTC tradition of embracing ambitious visions, which means not only committing to take bold innovative actions, but also to build up solid professional capabilities to see through complex engineering and infrastructure projects.

JTC's future plans include the development of next-generation estates such as the JID, PDD and Woodlands North Coast to tap the opportunities and possibilities that the future economy brings.

Close partnership with fellow economic agencies and business communities is "especially critical at this juncture when we are at the start of an industrial revolution", Dr Loo added.

"In all our estates new and old, our future success will depend on how well we work together to organise ourselves to accommodate new methods of production, new ways to bring products to market, and new ways to meet the expectations of the future workforce," he said. "As the future is not clear at the moment, there is a need for constant experimentation."

He noted that Singapore's developmental approach with a long-term view has created a liveable environment that makes Singapore an investment destination of choice.

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration this year, JTC will be announcing a number of initiatives to invite its industry partners to join in making estates greener.

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