Speaking at the MAS Annual Report 2014/15 media conference, MAS managing director Ravi Menon
said the government agency’s goals included helping turn Singapore into a “financial centre where innovation is pervasive and technology is used effectively to increase efficiency, create new opportunities, manage risks better, and improve people’s lives.”
“We want to be a financial centre that is among leaders globally in workforce skills and expertise, with a strong core of Singaporeans at every level.”
He cited SkillsFuture as a means of doing that, with MAS - in partnership with industry and educational and training institutes - undertaking initiatives to strengthen support for finance professionals to “learn continuously, develop expertise, and make strong contributions throughout their professional careers”.
“MAS in partnership with industry will drive initiatives to create a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and adoption of new technologies while fostering safety and security.”
Menon also discussed the state of Singapore’s overall economy at the conference.
Singapore’s economy “clearly lost some momentum” in Q2, he said, but is expected to plateau and not decline any further.
But because of the weaker outturn in the first half of the year, MAS and the Ministry of Trade and Industry
(MTI) are reviewing initial growth forecasts for 2015, which were between 2 and 4%.
Real GDP decreased by 4.6% in the second quarter on a quarter-to-quarter basis.
Trade-related industries declined, dragged down by weakness in pharmaceuticals, marine and offshore engineering, and electronics, while domestic-oriented industries pulled back after strong performance in the first quarter, Menon said.
Reasons he gave for expecting growth momentum not to decline any further included the fact that global and regional economic recovery remains broadly intact – “[that] should provide support for Singapore’s outward-oriented sectors.”
He also expected domestic non-tradable sectors should remain resilient.
But, he highlighted some macroeconomic factors of concern, including the “highly fluid and uncertain” situation in Greece, and increased risks in China.
The vision for future Singapore has been summed up by the Monetary Authority in Singapore (MAS) in three words: Smart Financial Centre.