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Sustainable Finance Vision: Singapore’s Strategic Roadmap

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A gathering of industry and leading figures from the financial sector convened to witness the launch of Singapore’s Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map (JTM). Spearheaded by Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth, and Board Member of MAS, this initiative heralds a new era in Singapore’s commitment to sustainability and economic resilience.

Mr Tan highlighted the urgent necessity for Singapore to ready its workforce for the expanding prospects in sustainable finance, stressing the imperative in light of global economic shifts propelled by climate change. The staggering demand for approximately US$1.7 trillion in annual infrastructure investments in Asia until 2030 accentuates the critical need for inventive financing approaches to align growth with climate goals.

In adapting to a low-carbon economy, businesses must rethink operations, secure supply chains against climate impacts, and adopt clean energy. Singapore, at the intersection of finance and sustainability, is committed to this shift, evident in the S$35 million Financial Sector Development Fund by MAS. This investment underscores Singapore’s aim to lead in sustainable finance through workforce development.

The JTM, a collaborative effort between MAS, the Institute of Banking & Finance (IBF), and Workforce Singapore (WSG), charts a comprehensive roadmap for the financial sector’s workforce. It offers invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of sustainable finance, identifying key trends, and projecting future job transformations. The map delineates three fundamental pillars: Opportunity, Transformation, and Creation (OTC), each serving as a guiding beacon for Singapore’s sustainable finance journey.

Under the Opportunity pillar, the JTM forecasts ASEAN’s sustainable financing needs to range between S$4 – S$5 trillion over the next decade, presenting a vast market opportunity for financial institutions. This underscores the critical importance of capitalising on the current momentum and positioning Singapore as a leader in sustainable finance innovation.

The Transformation pillar elucidates the evolving nature of existing job roles within the financial sector. With over 50,000 professionals expected to witness moderate to high degrees of job transformation, the imperative for upskilling and reskilling becomes paramount. Job roles in risk, compliance, and product management will undergo significant shifts, necessitating a nuanced understanding of sustainability frameworks and regulatory landscapes.

Illustrating this transformation, the role of relationship managers in corporate banking emerges as a focal point. Traditionally tasked with servicing clients’ financial needs, relationship managers must now navigate the complexities of climate transition plans and sustainability frameworks to provide tailored solutions. This paradigm shift underscores the imperative for continuous learning and adaptation within the financial sector.

The Creation pillar heralds the emergence of new job roles in response to sustainability imperatives. From sustainability risk management to strategy planning, these roles embody the evolving nature of the financial sector. As financial institutions integrate sustainability priorities into their core business strategies, the demand for expert talent continues to soar, necessitating concerted efforts to nurture talent pipelines and foster innovation.

To support the implementation of the JTM, Singapore has embarked on a multifaceted approach. MAS’s commitment of S$35 million to the Financial Sector Development Fund will bolster upskilling and reskilling initiatives, ensuring that professionals are equipped with the requisite skills to navigate the evolving landscape of sustainable finance.

Universities and polytechnics are gearing up to offer top-notch programmes to meet the rising demand for sustainable finance skills. From NTU’s Bachelor of Accounting in Sustainability Management to NUS’s sustainable finance specialisation, these modules aim to nurture future leaders and promote innovation.

Singapore’s launch of the Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map marks a significant step towards excellence. With a clear roadmap and collaborative efforts, Singapore is poised to lead in sustainability and resilience. As Singapore moves towards a sustainable future, the JTM guides the way toward lasting prosperity.


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