Singapore must continue to show the "pioneering spirit" by seizing new opportunities and tapping on new trends in order to provide good jobs for its people, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.
He was speaking at the Econ-omic Development Board Scholarship Awards ceremony at the Fullerton Hotel where eight students were awarded EDB scholarships.
Mr Teo, who is also Minister for Home Affairs, then cited an Economist Intelligence Unit report commissioned by Citibank.
This named Singapore as Asia's most competitive city and the third most competitive in the world. It also praised the Republic's ability to "attract capital, business, talent and tourists".
Adding that the report projected that Singapore will maintain these positions in 2025, Mr Teo said: "The underlying assumption is that we will be able to build on our strong fundamentals and continue to succeed in the future. This pre-supposes that we will continue to work, and work hard, to make sure this remains so."
He added that the EDB has been seeking growth opportunities in new areas of the manufacturing industry, such as 3-D printing and robotics.
It was announced during the Budget debates in February that the Government will pump in $500 million over five years to boost the country's skills in advanced manufacturing.
Another area that the EDB is steadily growing is the flavours and fragrances industry, said Mr Teo. The top five companies in this sector have set up shop here, including Givaudan, which develops tastes and fragrances in anything from snacks to shampoos.
This development has "strengthened our innovation ecosystem, making Singapore a more attractive location for consumer care and food and nutrition businesses to grow", Mr Teo said.
It will also create new career opportunities for Singaporeans in this sector, he added.
Mr Teo called on the eight scholarship holders, who will be pursuing their undergraduate studies in either the United States or Europe, to maximise the various opportunities the EDB offers to "broaden your horizons, drive change, gain international exposure and develop as a leader".