Yesterday, PM Lee Hsien Loon took the stage at Tampines Hub for the annual May Day Rally, where he expressed optimism about Singapore in the space of the global economy.
The growth potential for our country is strong, he said, but the onus is on Singaporeans to up their productivity to sustain it.
“Restructuring is a continuing process – and it is not a painless one,” and we will continue to see job redundancies in Singapore for the year (the silver lining is that our stats are much better than other countries’, and there are plenty of schemes to support the retrenched).
But not all companies are in a bad spot, and these are the ones that PM Lee highlighted as being off to a great start.
1. Google Singapore
Google Singapore has been flourishing in Singapore ever since it opened its doors in November last year. As PM Lee shared, Google has created 1,000 jobs for the IT sector in Singapore, and they are still hiring. But that’s not all this tech giant has been doing, as their new Squared Online initiative sets out to empower 1,000 SME business leaders by 2019.
Looking at Singapore brands, PM Lee shared about the success of 75 year old Grandluxe, a book-binding workshop that found its glory in the olden days printing stationery. But that is today a dying business, so Grandluxe found a way to stay relevant – by creating Bynd Artisan. Bynd Artisan now offers premium bookbinding services where book lovers can customise and create the gorgeous leather book covers from scratch.
One of the largest semi-conductor plants in Singapore, Micron is the one of the leading players in the engineering sector in Singapore. Just last year, the company expanded their space in Woodlands, and as a result, brought in 500 more positions in Electronics.
Evonik is a corporation from Germany, but that doesn’t mean that only the Germans are benefitting from its growth. In October 2016, they invested S$761 million for a second plant in Singapore. As reflected by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, this investment represented a “statement of confidence in Singapore as a location for high-value manufacturing”.
Along with the 150 jobs that would be created, Evonik also plans to invest in technology and innovation, as well as work towards developing a strong Singaporean core that will “complement our broader efforts to develop the skills needed for the jobs of the future.”
The Names We Look Out For
In 2016‘s May Day Rally, the names that PM Lee dropped during are ones going strong today, from Uber to Taobao and Airbnb.
These global giants are thriving in today’s digital age, and there’s a reason why they are doing so well.
It’s not just about the financial support that they enjoy, from Kalanick’s aggressive fund-raisings and Jack Ma’s exploding success as an entrepreneur. These companies are the ones accepting disruption by embracing it at their very core.
This is what PM Lee shared in his 2016’s speech – “do not help [companies and industries resist change]“, but “help [them] compete better, support them in transforming”.
And today, he reiterated this very same idea – the need to “transform our economy and grow our jobs.”
“We are going industry by industry, working out what specific things we need to do in that industry to upgrade it, to adapt it, to make it competitive,” he stated, and through this, “we can stay competitive and create the jobs.”
You can read the full rally transcript here.
Featured Image Credit: mothership.sg