Budget to focus on raising productivity: Heng Swee Keat
Finance Minister hopes firms put emphasis on upgrading workers
The Budget will focus on how companies can increase productivity and stay competitive, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.
This will involve, in part, an emphasis on improving capabilities in the workplace and getting companies to embrace technology.
Mr Heng, who was speaking during a tour of the FairPrice distribution centre in Benoi yesterday, noted: "I hope to see (companies) putting big emphasis on training and upgrading our workers.
"As we redesign jobs, we will need to help workers learn new skills, and I think in that way, companies can be more competitive and, at the same time, workers can be more productive and enjoy better jobs and better pay."
Mr Heng also encouraged businesses and workers to embrace technology: "Our ability to master the new technology will be key to a better life for the future."
These moves will also help businesses to seize opportunities growing in the region.
He cited the distribution centre as an example of how enterprises can use technology to lift productivity.
"FairPrice has worked together with the workers to retrain them. Many of them told me they started when FairPrice had manual processes, but they were able to pick up new skills along the way," Mr Heng said.
"All enterprises will need to put this as a major priority so they can make best use of new technologies and our companies can... continue to raise productivity and create a better life for our workers."
The FairPrice distribution centre is the first in the region to integrate automated storage and caddy pick systems in its operations.
The warehouse has a storage capacity of more than 52,000 pallets and the ability to process up to 120,000 cartons a day.
Mr Heng added: "With our industry transformation efforts, we have to look at new technologies, given that traditional businesses like retail need to be transformed."
Companies can achieve much higher productivity with better processes and provide goods at competitive prices.
He said businesses can also create partnerships around the world so that they can gain and achieve "the best possible results for companies and workers".
Mr Heng added that the Budget will also contain key measures on social policy, the Merdeka Generation Package and the bicentennial.
"It is a major event and I hope we reflect on the past so that we can plan for a better future," he noted.
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