SINGAPORE: The Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) held more than 80 discussions and focus groups, involving more than 1,000 students, educators, parents, union members, business leaders and academics, since it began its work to review Singapore's economic strategies nearly a year ago.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who co-chairs the committee with Trade and Industry Minister S Iswaran, added that CFE members also joined in more than 20 panels, seminars and conferences, where they reached out to more than 6,000 people.
Mr Heng on Thursday (Dec 1) gave details of the CFE's engagement figures in a Facebook post after he chaired the committee's fifth and final meeting.
"As we firm up the strategies for the future economy, I can see in them the ideas that came up in the many discussions and focus groups we’ve had," he wrote.
This is the first CFE meeting Mr Heng has chaired since collapsing from a stroke on May 12. He resumed his duties as Finance Minister in August, but was advised by doctors to continue avoiding crowds to minimise the risk of infection.
Mr Heng, an MP for Tampines GRC, appeared in a video shown at the launch of the first phase of Our Tampines Hub on Sunday.
(Photo: Facebook/Heng Swee Keat)
ENGAGEMENT "MUST CONTINUE" AFTER COMMITTEE WRAPS UP
Noting that "so much has changed in the world" in the last few months, Mr Heng said that the changes "really bring home the urgency of planning and laying the ground for changes in the long term".
It was a sentiment echoed by his co-chairman, Mr Iswaran, who wrote in a separate Facebook post that the CFE's discussions over the past year took place "amidst challenging conditions for our businesses and people, and an uncertain global economy".
Mr Iswaran added: "With the benefit of the views we have gathered, the CFE has been studying how we can overcome our constraints and access opportunities in areas of growth, especially in our region.
"We have also discussed how to continue transforming our businesses, boost innovation, and ensure that Singaporeans have the right skills to seize future opportunities."
Mr Heng said that at Thursday's CFE meeting, committee members continued to stress the value of partnership between the public, private and people sectors, and that the CFE "must continue to engage with companies, workers and others even after the committee wraps up".
"I fully agree, and really appreciate this readiness to work together," Mr Heng said. "For now, we are working hard to capture the depth and breadth of the feedback that we have received."
Mr Heng and Mr Iswaran added that the CFE would share its recommendations early next year.