Lawrence Wong urges companies, directors to start thinking ahead, restructure

    By TAN NAI LUN 

    The Business Times, 8 September 2021

    COMPANIES and directors should start thinking ahead and acting now as the need to restructure and transform will likely increase in the future, said finance minister Lawrence Wong.

    In a speech at the Singapore Institute of Directors' Directors Conference on Wednesday, Mr Wong noted that "the gap between leaders and laggards will continue to widen" if firms do not continually innovate.

    Firms should optimise operations and become more efficient to improve productivity. They can also reconfigure their operations by making use of comparative advantages of neighbouring countries, or scale up by venturing into new markets.

    Mr Wong also noted for some businesses, there may be a need to pivot to adjacent emerging sectors, while others may need to consolidate and merge.

    "All this is part of the creative destruction we see in any dynamic economy," Mr Wong said, noting that this ensures a continued renewal and rejuvenation of businesses as firms with new ideas and innovation replace older jobs and activities.

    He highlighted existing programmes for companies to adopt new digital solutions or to upskill workers, which include a new partnership approach called the Alliances for Action, where the private sector will work with the government to explore and execute new ideas.

    Mr Wong added that companies with good ideas and are willing to take the lead should get in touch with the relevant agency to explore opportunities.