THE Singapore government on Friday launched its food manufacturing industry transformation map, hoping to cook up a 4.5 per cent annual productivity improvement and 2,000 new skilled jobs by 2020.

Led by SPRING Singapore, the initiative will focus on the ecosystem for innovation, build a global presence for Singapore food companies, develop the use of automation, create quality jobs and reskill the workforce.

"Our vision is to develop Singapore as the leading food and nutrition hub," Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and for Culture, Community and Youth, said at the launch of the industry transformation map.

Among the initiative's targets is the creation of 2,000 new jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET) in the food manufacturing industry until 2020.

SPRING, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore will jointly develop a skills framework by the end of 2017 to provide a common reference of current and emerging skills required in the industry.

SPRING will also lead the development of the food innovation cluster to foster collaboration and resource-sharing. For example, the planned high pressure processing resource-sharing facility is slated to launch in the second half of 2017.

IE Singapore will continue to deepen industry promotion efforts for the "Tasty Singapore" online shop, which has helped 27 companies to offer 130 food products in China since the platform was launched in July 2015.

Technology adoption will also receive attention through the initiative, with existing schemes such as the Automation Support Package (ASP) for large-scale deployment of automation and robotics solutions.