Addressing the gathering of attendees and speakers at the 106th International Labour Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, Minister for Manpower, Mr Lim Swee Say said, “Singapore fully supports the call by ILO on “Work in a Changing Climate: The Green Initiative.”
Highlighting efforts by the country as being the first to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change, Say reaffirmed the country’s commitment to contribute to the global effort to address climate change. Further adding, Striving for sustainable development is not a choice. It is an obligation we owe to each other and to our future generations. This is especially so for Singapore. As a small island city-state, Singapore is manpower-lean by nature.
With just over two million resident workers in its workforce and a land area of slightly over 700 km2 – ½ the size of London and less than 2% the size of Switzerland – the region is land-lean, water-lean, energy-lean, and resource-lean.
However, Say said, “We have never allowed our constraints to be obstacles to our development and progress. Not in the past, and certainly not in the future. We are continually searching for new and innovative ideas to generate economic growth, create good jobs and improve the quality of life for our people in a sustainable manner.”
Transitioning into the future economy, Singapore strives to be a leaner and greener economy, driven by technology and innovation. As the region, transforming its industry, sector by sector, to build new capabilities in smart factory, digital services, vertical farming, water reclamation, green energy and more. Transforms enterprises big and small, to strive for zero waste, be more capable, productive and cost competitive, while also transforming workforce both young and old, to be more adaptable, up-skillable and re-skillable such as to minimise mismatch between future jobs and future skills.
Considering these changes and shifts, Say emphasised, “Innovative, and yet inclusive: This is of growing importance, not just for Singapore, but for all countries. Social cohesion is the bedrock of peace and stability to enable sustainable progress.”
Applauding the efforts of Tripartite partners working together in unity, both at the national and industry levels to achieve this vision of being innovative and yet inclusive. While unions, industry leaders and government agencies are jointly spearheading the transformation of 23 business sectors in Singapore, accounting for more than 80% of our economy.
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