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Singapore must attract the best talent to succeed in the long term: panellists

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SINGAPORE must always remain open to talent and attract the best people in order to succeed in the long run.

SINGAPORE must always remain open to talent and attract the best people in order to succeed in the long run.

That was one of the key messages by the four speakers taking part in the third and final panel discussion at The Business Times Leaders' Forum 2016 on Tuesday.

Victor Mills, chief executive officer of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, stressed that there is "no limit on talent, provided we don't self-limit ourselves".

"We will never have sufficient talent of our own in Singapore, and that's why in the last 50 years we've worked with the best to grow the economy. We've still got to do that; it's just that there are now different types of skills and businesses to help us along that road," he noted.

The other three panellists were Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) managing director Yeoh Keat Chuan, Golden Gate Ventures managing partner Vinnie Lauria, and National Research Foundation CEO Low Teck Seng.

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Professor Low said that his vision for Singapore in the next two decades would be for the country to have a status as a global technology node.

"We can be a node with clear access to other nodes. We can't do everything ourselves. It's a question of being accessible and having access to technology everywhere in the world," he pointed out, adding that Singapore must continue to lure the best researchers and academics if it wants to realise this goal.

From the EDB's perspective, Mr Yeoh said that he wants to see Singapore become a home for business, innovation and talent in Asia. "We are working hard to position ourselves as a living lab from which companies, be they multinationals, large local enterprises, Asian conglomerates, SMEs or startups, are able to build billion-dollar businesses in Singapore for Asia and the world," he added.

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