SINGAPORE: Homegrown small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be at the heart of the economy as Singapore restructures, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was at the Singapore Heartland Enterprise Star Award dinner on Friday (Sep 25).
He said a steady and balanced approach must be taken, and the restructuring journey cannot be stopped or slowed down. “Although that may be good in the short term, we know that it will simply mean that our workers and our Singaporeans will have a lower standard of living eventually, so we must continue on this journey,” he added.
Mr Tharman also said: “But neither can we simply leave it to market forces. We cannot take the other extreme, of leaving it to a tight labour market and market forces to decide who wins and who loses. Because if we leave it entirely to market forces, we will lose not just the less efficient businesses, we can also lose many good businesses if you leave it purely to market forces.”
As such, Mr Tharman said this is why a balanced approach is needed. By taking on a middle strategy, he said that means continuing on the step-by-step restructuring, gradual tightening of the foreign worker supply.
He added that the Government will step up support for innovation, through targeted help for companies. Singapore will also focus more on developing people in every enterprise. This is because it is through better management and development of people where value is created.