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Singapore On The Raise In Wages

03 Jul 2010


Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was speaking at a dialogue on the ESC Report and Budget 2010 and said that Singapore must have workers with top quality skills to make Singapore one among the top livable cities in the world.

Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) is striving to achieve a situation of raising the wages of the average Singapore worker by one-third in the next decade. This means moving from a median wage of $2400 to $3100 in 10 years.

Mr.Tharman said,” Singapore has never had it as good as now, for the next five to ten years.”

Singapore has its positive aspects in developing into a well urbanised city in areas of water management, sanitation, growing number of Singapore companies developing as leading specialists.  

Mr.Tharman said ,” Everything to do with urban management, water, sanitation, clean air, traffic management, organising a city that is liveable, that is something we have some experience in, and where we have something to offer and something we are seeing a growing number of Singapore companies developing as leading specialists.

"So it's a trend that will play to our advantage. And it's not just Asia, it's an emerging market as a whole. The number one problem that they have is water management.”

He mentioned that the area that has to be improved is the middle class services. He puzzled that there is a gap in productivity inspite of good education system, good schools system and one of the better rated University system in the world due to lack of achievement in workforce in terms of skills and expertise.

He emphasized on the need to expertise on job, bringing out the best by being good at the job rather than just working competently or being diligent. Motivation is required not just through incentives , but by improving skills, raising standards, higher aspirations and transforming the economy in every sector.

Ministers on the panel emphasized that improving productivity levels does not necessarily mean down-sizing the workforce. Also, making workers work longer hours doesn't necessarily improve productivity.

Some 600 members from the Singapore Business Federation took part in the dialogue.


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