Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing brought question marks in front of his French audience at a media conference in Paris on Thursday (Jul 12) after he asked rhetorical questions about “innovating regulation”:
“You can’t use old rules to regulate new business models. So the question is how do you build this culture across public service – how do you innovate regulation so that it becomes your advantage?”
The former army general who has never worked a day in the private sector was dishing out advice to French and Singaporean businessmen saying that they need to “plug into the innovation networks”:
“With the pace of technological development intensifying, Singapore should seize opportunities to plug itself into innovation networks around the world. Doing so would help further Singapore’s cause to create better jobs for its people and more opportunities for its businesses. The French system has some interesting ideas we can look at, like how they facilitate even technopreneurs that are not from France to come to work in France and use the French network in the entire global system to develop new products.”
In Feb 2017, the ruling party government set up a “Global Innovation Alliance” to establish business links for start-up companies in Singapore and other countries to enter foreign markets. The S$100 million government scheme however has been largely unsuccessful in the past two years, with links to only 3 countries – China, Thailand and France.
Earlier in June last month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong signed a trade deal to import more cheap Indian labour to work in Singapore. The Singapore dictator also signed a deal with Philippines in April to create 1,920 jobs for Filipino nationals in Singapore.