News & Events
Posted: 10 Jun 2013
Singapore Pitches In to Help Myanmar Build Skilled Workforce
By Natasha Brereton-Fukui
Singapore’s government is setting up a vocational training institute in Myanmar in an effort to prepare that country’s workforce for an expected surge in demand for local talent.
Goh Chok Tong, Singapore’s second prime minister from 1990 to 2004 and now a senior adviser to the city state’s central bank, said the government has found a location in Yangon, the country’s largest city, and will be training instructors in Singapore while the building is renovated.
Subjects on the menu will begin with hospitality, and then progress to areas like mechanical and electrical skills, and later more specialist subjects, such precision engineering.
“We are very keen on helping Myanmar. If this country takes off, it’s good for Asean,” Mr. Goh said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, referring to the 10-member group of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Myanmar and Singapore. “It’s going to stabilize Asean and make Asean more prosperous, and a prosperous Asean is good for Singapore,” he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia, a gathering this week of hundreds of world business and political leaders in Myanmar.
The shortage of skilled workers in Myanmar partly reflects its decimation of Myanmar’s higher education system over the past few decades, after leaders of the military takeover became convinced that the country’s once-proud universities were breeding grounds for dissent.
The initiative builds on a package of measures focusing on the training of government officials, which Singapore announced last year, and aims to support Myanmar as it attempts to rapidly open up its economy and transform the prospects of its 60 million people.
Mr. Goh said Myanmar’s government was now keen to get help to develop the financial sector, including in the area of regulation, which could entice more foreign banks to venture into this new market.
He said the Singapore government was also interested in helping to upgrade Myanmar’s laws, with those covering areas such as taxation and dispute resolution being particularly important from an investor’s perspective. Infrastructure, hospitality and urbanization are areas in which Singapore companies would be particularly suited to play a role in the country, he said.
“We’re generally optimistic that [the Myanmar government is] on the right track. The leaders are working together. That’s my sense,” he said.
Source: Wall Street Journal 07/06/2013
Posted: 22 Apr 2013
Regional Workshop on Scaling up Climate Finance in the Asia Pacific
Organised by the Singapore Cooperation Programme, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
With the support of Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)
A reshaping of the global architecture of climate change financing and an unprecedented mobilisation of financial resources will be needed to successfully address climate change on a global scale.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), investments of more than EUR30 trillion (approx. EUR800 billion per year) will be required to halve global GHG emissions by 2050 relative to 2005. This amount is only a part of even larger figures needed to build the climate resilience of countries across the globe as the impacts of climate change are increasingly affecting development. To meet the scale and volume of finances required, long-term finance has to come from a wide-variety of sources, including public, private, as well as other innovative sources.
At the national level, the growing volume of climate finance requires action not only from environment and climate change ministries, but also national financial institutions and line ministries. They need to administer the funds, access the resources and ensure efficient and transparent spending.
Addressing the demand for capacity development and cross-country dialogue for relevant stakeholders in the region, the Singapore Cooperation Programme and GIZ are conducting a regional workshop on climate finance on 22-24 April 2013 at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.
The workshop aims to facilitate dialogue of recent climate finance developments in the region, exchange information and experience, develop and strengthen areas for collaboration and provide a platform to strengthen the capacity of governments in the region to access, manage, monitor, report and verify climate-related financial flows.
Areas for discussion range from climate finance fundamentals, challenges and initiatives (international and regional), readiness for climate finance (challenges of national implementing entities, efficient and transparent spending, experiences and lessons learnt), to mobilising private investments.
Workshop participants include representatives from Ministries of Environment, Finance, Planning and Investment; international cooperation institutions, multilateral development banks and private sector.
Posted: 11 Jan 2013
Sharing Experience on Community Health Promotion with the Pacific Islands
Singapore hosted a course in Community Health Promotion from 3 to 7 December 2012 for 13 officials from the Pacific Island states of Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The course is jointly organised by the World Health Organisation's Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) and Singapore's Health Promotion Board with the support of the Singapore Cooperation Programme as well as the Singapore Ministry of Health. The course facilitators and participants shared their experiences on basic health promotion theories and models through relevant case studies. Site visits to our food centres and supermarkets were also arranged to allow participants to experience first-hand how Singapore weaved in health promotion policies into our day-to-day living.
Ms Alicia Hipa, a Health Promoting Officer from Niue, said, "The course was excellent. I liked that there was a lot of practical work as opposed to lecture style teaching. I enjoyed the case studies shared and am inspired to introduce programmes similar to the Health Promotion Board's to help locals stay healthy."