SINGAPORE – Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is taking on an additional appointment as Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies.
Announcing the new Cabinet line-up on Saturday (July 25), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong explained that Mr Heng had already been playing the role, and the appointment formalises existing arrangements.
Mr Heng chairs the Future Economy Council (FEC) and National Research Foundation, and will continue to oversee the Strategy Group in the Prime Minister’s Office, which coordinates policies and plans, PM Lee said.
The FEC was established in 2017 to drive the growth and transformation of Singapore’s economy for the future. It also oversees the implementation of the recommendations put forth by the Committee on the Future Economy, such as the implementation of Industry Transformation Maps.
Chaired by Mr Heng, it includes representatives from the Government, unions, trade associations and chambers, industry as well as educational and training institutions.
As Finance Minister, Mr Heng “controls the Government’s budget, and therefore will have broad oversight of our major priorities and policies”, said PM Lee.
The Finance Ministry team remains unchanged, with Mr Heng supported by Second Ministers Lawrence Wong and Indranee Rajah.
Mr Heng, who helms the fourth generation leadership team, entered politics in 2011 and was made a full minister immediately after being elected as a new MP.
He first held the Education portfolio before moving to Finance after the 2015 General Election.
From the start, he was given other high-profile appointments on top of his heavyweight portfolios – from heading the steering committee that oversaw the SG50 Jubilee celebrations, to leading the year-long Our Singapore Conversation series of dialogues in 2013.
More recently, he launched the Singapore Together movement – where the people and Government co-create solutions to policy issues – and was responsible for the historic $93 billion Budget to help workers and businesses tide over the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also set up the Emerging Stronger Taskforce in May, comprising industry-led alliances that will prototype new ideas in areas such as robotics, e-commerce, environmental sustainability, digitalisation of supply chains and the built environment. The aim is for successful projects to become new growth areas that will generate new jobs.
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