Budget 2011: Ways to hit productivity target

SINGAPORE: Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang said there were four levels of productivity improvements to be made, to achieve the productivity growth target of two to three per cent per year.

Mr Lim said this in Parliament during the debate on the estimates for the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

He said at the economy level, Singapore must move towards higher value—added industries.

This is part of the ongoing restructuring of the economy, shifting from low value—added activities to higher value—added activities and growing new clusters.

At the sectoral level, Mr Lim said the nation must move up the value chain within existing industries.

The ministry will work with companies that have made headway in their productivity efforts and these companies will serve as productivity champions and help demonstrate the value of productivity improvements to the rest of the sector.

Mr Lim said Trade Associations and Chambers also have a key role to play as champions for productivity.

The ministry will continue to engage them through the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) programme, which offers sectoral—based, customised assistance that target unique industry needs.

At the firm level, the government has enhanced the Productivity and Innovation Credit to further encourage companies to invest in activities that foster productivity and innovation.

It is also reaching out to companies, including smaller firms, to ensure they get the message.

Finally, at the at the individual level, Mr Lim said it is important that workers continue to upgrade themselves, and take advantage of the many avenues in the Continuing Education and Training system to do so.

—CNA/wk