1. To be competitive, we need to tackle rising costs, including business costs and costs of living.
If we want to attract foreign direct investments, it does not bode well to be rated as the most expensive city for expatriates and business travelers by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
2. As many of our mainstream and traditional markets are undergoing different challenges, we need to aggressively target new and emerging markets, including markets in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
3. We need to strengthen our backbone of small and medium enterprises and help them to better access capital and other resources, hunt as a pack, and scale up their operations.
Generate more radical innovations and breakthroughs to have an edge over their fast-growing competitors, especially those around the region.
Become large enterprises that can make a mark in the global economy and leading players in their industries and markets.
4. We have to continue to focus on improving labour productivity.
However, this is limited by the operational capacity of the economy and finite resources of the worker.
In the new economy where the battle line is not just defined by the efficiency of the workforce but also on the innovative value-creations of the enterprise, we need to enhance productivity from a more holistic perspective.
It includes creating and developing more and higher value-added industries and enterprises, developing game-changing business architectures, focusing on value-creations and not just value-additions, innovating and exporting future technologies and services, and becoming market-makers rather than price-takers in order to strengthen our overall growth.
Many SMEs need help to transform their business models to succeed in the new economy.
5. Living in a relatively comfortable society, we have to ensure that our workforce will always have a strong work ethics and fighting spirit.
They’ll have the grit and resilience to battle all odds, including working overseas in challenging environments to help develop multiple and diversified wings for our economy.
6. To respond to a fast-changing world, we need to eradicate the culture of “kiasuism”, a culture that very often disdain failures and over-glorify success stories.
Therefore, we need to craft a national blueprint to foster entrepreneurship and innovation, with active ownership, participation, and support from the public, people and private sectors.
This blueprint should also be crafted and championed by both prominent as well as struggling entrepreneurs from different sectors of society and not just from the business world.
Unless and until, we develop a culture for entrepreneurship and innovation, we’ll not be able to resist the tide of changes and craft our own pathways to the future.
I hope this message will find a place in your heart.
By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.
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