Yesterday, the newly-formed 30-member Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) held its first meeting to discuss and endorse the five key areas of work it would embark on to set the direction for Singapore’s future economic development.

Formed in January 2016 to develop economic strategies to position Singapore well for the future, the 30-member CFE is helmed by minister for finance, Heng Swee Keat and and his deputy chairman, minister for trade and industry (industry) S Iswaran.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Finance, the five areas on the committee’s agenda are corporate capabilities and innovation, future growth industries and markets, connectivity, urban development and infrastructure, and jobs and skills.

Planning to deep dive into these five areas of work, the CFE decided to set up five subcommittees that will draw in additional representatives from both the private and public sectors to get a wider range of expert views.

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“The CFE and its five subcommittees draw on a wide range of expertise across both the public and private sectors, and will be engaging with stakeholders and the public to get a good representation of views. The CFE aims to complete its work in a year’s time,” the press release stated.

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Here’s a list of the subcommittees, what they will look at and their respective co-chairs:

Future Corporate Capabilities and Innovation


  • Recommend strategies to enable companies and industry clusters to develop innovative capacities, and use technology as well as new business models and partnerships to create value.
  • Examine these in relation to MNCs, LLEs, SMEs and Start-ups, and the interaction among them within and across industries.

Co-chairs: Heng Swee Keat, minister for finance, and Teo Siong Seng, chairman, Singapore Business Federation

Future Growth Industries and Markets


  • Consider macroeconomic and technological trends, and Singapore’s comparative advantages in industries and markets that will drive the global economy of the future.
  • Identify priority clusters and markets, and recommend strategies to grow them.

Co-chairs: S Iswaran, minister for trade and industry (industry), and Jean-Luc Butel, president, K8 Global, and senior advisor, McKinsey & Company

Future of Connectivity


  • Study how Singapore can remain well-connected as a competitive key hub in the future global economy.
  • Take into account trends that will affect how the global economy is configured.

Co-chairs: Chan Chun Sing, minister, Prime Minister’s Office, and secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, and Mariam Jaafar, partner and managing director (Singapore), The Boston Consulting Group

Future City


  • Study how Singapore can continue to sustain new growth opportunities as a leading global city and endearing home, by enhancing its infrastructure, overcoming resource constraints, and ensuring a highly liveable environment.

Co-chairs: Lawrence Wong, minister for national development, and Tan Chong Meng Group, CEO, PSA International

Future Jobs and Skills


  • Examine the trends, including demographic and technological ones that will affect the landscape for jobs and the requirements for workers.
  • Recommend ways to prepare Singaporean workers for the future.

Co-chairs: Ong Ye Kung, acting minister for education, (higher education and skills), and Bill Chang, country chief officer, Singapore and CEO, Group Enterprise, Singtel Ltd

Image: Shutterstock

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