SINGAPORE – Singapore remains open to attracting global talent for the maritime and shipping sectors and considers it a critical part for the Republic to maintain its status as a regional hub, said Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Finance on Monday (July 4).
Speaking at the launch of Singapore-headquartered global container liner Ocean Network Express’ (ONE) new green strategy department, Mr Chee said: “We are very clear that Singapore cannot be a hub port and international maritime centre without being open and connected with the world.”
Since the start of the pandemic, a combination of factors has led to a general exodus of employment pass holders here, prompting businesses to ask if Singapore remains a competitive choice for global talent.
Mr Chee said: “I also want to assure you that Singapore will remain open to talent from around the world, as we firmly believe that this is critical to our success as a regional hub, especially for global businesses like shipping and maritime.”
At the same time, the government has also been working to roll out schemes aimed at helping Singaporeans improve their skills, while also encouraging international firms operating here to collaborate with it and invest in the development of local talent.
Mr Chee commended ONE’s role in championing this endeavour.
He said the world’s seventh largest container carrier has put in considerable and consistent efforts to expose and train its staff, through initiatives like the Career Development Programme.
The shipping firm has also provided opportunities to local interns under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) Global Internship Award programme, while also supporting scholars under the MaritimeONE scholarship programme by the Singapore Maritime Foundation.
Mr Chee said with the set-up of the sustainability desk in Singapore, ONE could collaborate with local research institutes, technology players and start-ups in addition to working with government agencies.
“You can use Singapore as a living lab and test-bed for your new technology solutions, to see what works well and can be scaled up for global application.”
ONE, which currently employs over 650 staff here in Singapore, reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability goals whose operations and strategy will be run from the new satellite office at mTower in Alexandra Road.
The new premises will also house the company’s South Asia regional team, said its chief executive Mr Jeremy Nixon. The company’s main headquarters are located at Marina One.