Singapore (VNA) – Singapore will spend around 24 billion SGD (over 18 billion USD) over the next three years to help firms and workers adapt to the changing global landscape partly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of its 80.8 billion USD budget plan for 2021 announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on February 16.
The funds will go towards building a more vibrant business sector and innovation ecosystem, helping enterprises to transform and scale up their operations, and creating opportunities for workers, said Heng, who is also Minister of Finance.
Singapore will invest in three platforms to help firms innovate and collaborate on the global scale. The Corporate Venture Launchpad (CVL) will be piloted this year to drive innovative ventures, providing co-funding for companies to build new ventures through pre-qualified venture studios.
Meanwhile, the Open Innovation Platform (OIP) will be enhanced to increase the speed and scale of digital innovation through new features such as a discovery engine.
Additionally, enhancements will also be made to the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA), which helps to catalyse cross-border collaboration between Singapore and major global innovation hubs.
The network has 15 city links to the likes of Bangkok (Thailand), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Manila (the Philippines), and will be expanded to more than 25 cities over the next five years.
The GIA will be given a boost by the Co-Innovation Programme, which will support up to 70 percent of qualifying costs for cross-border innovation and partnership projects.
Heng said that Singapore must deepen its position as a global-Asia node to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis. That will involve working to restore the country’s physical connectivity with the rest of world, expand its digital connectivity and deepen its capacity to collaborate and innovate with global partners.
Singapore ’s 80.8 billion USD budget plan in 2021 aims to provide immediate help to sectors under stress, and invest in the country’s long-term future./.