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Singapore Deputy Prime Minister urges tech firms to collaborate amid COVID-19

Image credit: www.gov.sg

Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered the opening remarks at the Webinar on Budget 2021: Emerging Stronger Together.

The Deputy Prime Minister reiterated that tech firms and solution providers must collaborate with workers, the government, and the labour movement to emerge stronger in a complex, volatile post-COVID world, more than ever before, recovering from this crisis and growing our economy will have to be a tripartite effort.

The country must pull together our collective strengths and resources to ride the winds of change and waves of opportunities. This can entail firms strengthening collaboration and forging new partnerships through initiatives like the Open Innovation Platform, which matches private and public-sector problems with solution providers, he added.

Similarly, in his social media post, he had the same dialogue a year ago, when the pandemic was still rapidly unfolding. He stated that since then, the situation has stabilised. Many businesses have adapted, although the path to recovery is highly uneven across sectors. What is clear is that there is no going back to pre-COVID. Therefore, the Budget’s central focus is on emerging stronger through adapting, innovation and growth, he added.

Deputy Prime Minister also said in an organised by the Singapore Business Federation and the Singapore National Employers Federation: To adapt, the country will need to keep abreast of the structural shifts that are underway. COVID-19 has further accelerated some of these shifts, especially the pace of digitalisation. The Government aims to enable you to participate in the digital economy so that no one is left behind by the forces of disruptive technologies, he said.

He further clarified that firms could use emerging technologies to turn digital disruption into opportunities, they can also enable workers to thrive in the digital world through job redesign and kick-start the digital transformation journey. He added that innovation is key to creating new value and remaining competitive, noting that the Government will continue to nurture start-ups while helping larger companies through corporate venturing. It will also connect firms to innovation nodes around the world, by expanding networks and supporting cross-border partnerships.

Through adapting and innovating, he said that the Government is confident that more of its citizens and organisations will grow and they can make the best of opportunities, especially as the economy recovers. Companies must also put workers at the heart of their transformation efforts as they grow. As they transform, they can create better jobs and prospects for their workers and upskill them to take on these new roles. The fortunes of businesses and workers are intertwined. Investing in your people will ultimately benefit your businesses in the longer-term, he addeDPM also encouraged businesses to give back to the community, citing those that returned their Jobs Support Scheme support or shared it with their workers. Citing they have so far put the worst of the crisis behind them. DPM also hopes that people will do more than just cope. Instead, they should make full use of the Government’s support provided to shift their focus towards emerging stronger.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, with the pandemic still at the fore and knowing that the global economy will remain stunted, the Singapore Government led by DPM Heng Swee Keat allocated over S$24 billion over the next three years to help businesses and workers transition to a post-pandemic world, well-equipped with technological resources. This budget also aims to enable firms and businesses to emerge stronger, together. About S$1 billion will be allocated to mature firms to get co-funding for the adoption of digital solutions and technological improvements. Mature enterprises, ranging from micro to large firms, should invest in new and emerging technologies to sharpen their competitiveness, DPM said while unveiling Budget 2021, aiming to improve Singapore’s digital connectivity.

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