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Strategy reboot needed to tackle challenges of globalisation: Indranee Rajah

Companies must reboot their strategies in order to seek new emerging opportunities despite increased protectionism and insularism around the world, as economic integration and globalisation remain important engines of global economic growth, Second Minister for Finance and Education Indranee Rajah said on Friday.

"This new beginning or enhanced state that we envisage, does not require a reset where we erase our past efforts and strategies. Instead, a reboot engenders a refocus, a realignment, a recalibration," Ms Indranee, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, said at the annual Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) Directors Conference at Marina Bay Sands.

She cited the updated Code of Corporate Governance issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore last month, which now requires the majority of boards to comprise non-executive directors, as part of Singapore's reboot for its governance operating system. Board diversity will foster constructive debate and prevent groupthink, helping boards make better decisions in these challenging times, she said.

In his opening address, SID chairman Willie Cheng said that businesses should move beyond the mantra that "change is the only constant" to embrace the idea that the new constant is accelerating change and disruption.

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"For corporations in this globalised world, we have always managed to survive. We will continue to do so, if not thrive, whatever the circumstances. We adapt to the world as it changes, even as we compete with one another," Mr Cheng said.

The winners of this year's Singapore Sustainability Reporting Awards were also announced at the event. LHN Limited, a property developer, won the Best Inaugural Sustainability Report award in the Catalist category, while supermarket chain Sheng Siong won the corresponding award for mainboard companies. (see amendment note)

Commodity trader Olam International Limited was recognised with the award for Best Sustainability Report for Established Reporters among both mainboard and Catalist companies.

The award, which is in its second year, seeks to encourage and recognise excellence in sustainability reporting among Singapore listed companies.

Amendment note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that LHN Ltd and Sheng Siong won the Best Inaugural Sustainability Report awards for mainboard and Catalist companies respectively. LHN Ltd in fact received the Catalist award while Sheng Siong received the mainboard award. The article above has been revised to reflect this.