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Budget 2019 to focus on helping companies embrace tech, workers learn new skills: Heng Swee Keat

Budget 2019 to focus on helping companies embrace tech, workers learn new skills: Heng Swee Keat

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat visits FairPrice Distribution Centre at Benoi on Feb 14, 2019.

SINGAPORE: The upcoming Budget will focus on three areas - companies, workers and technology, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday (Feb 14). 

In particular, the Budget will focus on helping companies deepen capabilities so they can stay competitive and productive, he said.

It will also focus on helping workers learn new skills so that they can enjoy better jobs and pay, said Mr Heng.

Speaking on the sidelines of a visit to FairPrice Distribution Centre at Benoi, Mr Heng added that the help will be given to enterprises to seize opportunities that are growing in the Asian region.

“The Singapore economy is very open, so we need to look at what we can do to create partnerships all round the world so that we can again achieve the best possible results for our companies and our workers,” he said.

READ: Budget 2019: Security, social spending, economy key areas, says Heng Swee Keat

Citing FairPrice as an example of a company that has seen positive results in adopting technology, Mr Heng said that there is a need to encourage all businesses and workers to embrace technology.

Machines such as the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), uses robotic technology and autonomous vehicles mounted on a monorail system to enable automatic transportation of pallets of goods. The new system has twice the productivity rate of a conventional distribution center relying on manual pallet movers.

Industry aside, Mr Heng also said that the Budget will include a major section on social policies.

“In particular I will be announcing details on our Merdeka Generation package, as well as some reflections on how we are celebrating our bicentennial. It is a major event, and I hope that we reflect on the past so that we can plan for a better future,” he said.

READ: 'Substantial' Merdeka Generation Package to include some who missed out on Pioneer package: PM Lee

Source: CNA/aa(aj)


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