Updated: 12/07/2013 01:45

Singapore needs to enhance the quality of economic growth: Lim Swee Say



Singapore needs to enhance the quality of economic growth: Lim Swee Say

Labour Chief Lim Swee Say says Singapore has to continue to enhance the quality of its economic growth. 

This he says can be achieved through innovation and productivity gain. 

He says the labour market will be tighter; with manpower growth slowing down to about one per cent, from the previous three per cent. 

So companies need to utilise their workers better through productivity and innovation. 

"We have to continue to encourage more and more companies on the ground, more and more sectors of the ground to look at how they do their job in a new angle because in some areas, we can look for the innovation within Singapore, spread them. In some cases we can go out to the rest of the world." 

Mr Lim cited the example of restaurant group TungLok, which has brought in three new auto-cooking machines from Shenzhen for its catering business. 

The automated machine allows staff at its Central Kitchen that can be pre-programmed to cook Chinese-style dishes. 

Only one staff is required to operate the machines. 

TungLok expects to reduce its manpower, and possibly increase catering sales by 15 to 20 per cent. 

The machines are able to cook one hundred kilograms of fried rice in an hour as compared to thirty kilograms if cooked manually. 

TungLok has tapped on SPRING Singapore's Capability Development Grant for two of the machines which offers funds of up to 70 per cent of the qualifying cost. 

The company also plans to apply for the government's Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme, which offers tax deductions or cash payout based on productivity improvements. 

The three machines cost the company some $150,000 before the grants.

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