subpage banner

Press Releases

SPOR 2020: Growing range of opportunities at every stage of life for Singaporeans

26 Nov 2020

Singapore is one of the most competitive economies globally and is an attractive location for businesses to grow and invest.  
Singapore is one of the world’s greenest and most liveable cities.
COVID-19 has fostered a strong spirit of care and concern for one another.
The Ministry of Finance has published the sixth edition of the Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR). The report takes stock of how Singapore has fared in key areas of national interest, with data covering up to 2019 in most cases. 
2.    From 2014 to 2019, Singapore’s real GDP grew by 2.9% per year and labour productivity rose by 2.5% per year. Inflation remained subdued. Full-time employed residents benefited from rising incomes of 3.8% per year over the past five years. Notably, life expectancy is among the highest in the world. Singaporeans are provided with a growing range of opportunities to succeed at every stage of life. While COVID-19 has affected many aspects of life, it has also brought out a strong sense of community among Singaporeans. 
3.    Commenting on the SPOR report, Head of Civil Service, Leo Yip said: “The special section of this year’s report entitled ‘Emerging Stronger as One’ recognises the partnership between Government and people in our collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights Singaporeans’ strong spirit of care and concern for one another as well as how working together has enabled us to serve those in need and overcome this crisis as one. Whether in crisis or in normalcy, the Public Service will continue to strive for better outcomes for our citizens and our businesses. We will continue to partner with Singaporeans to build a better future Singapore society and economy, and to emerge stronger from this crisis.”
Growing Opportunities at Every Stage of Life for Singaporeans
4.    Our life expectancy, at 81.4 and 85.7 years for males and females respectively in 2019, is among the highest in the world. The number of preschool places has also increased by more than 30% since 2016 and become more affordable with enhanced preschool subsidies. Lower-income families pay as little as $3 per month. 
5.    Singaporeans have many more opportunities to succeed at every stage of life. For instance, SkillsFuture supports Singaporeans in lifelong learning and skills mastery. As at 31 December 2019, 500,000 individuals and 14,000 enterprises have benefitted from SkillsFuture initiatives. Around 37,000 individuals were enrolled in subsidised Continuing Education and Training (CET) full qualification programmes at Institutes of Higher Learning. 
Singapore is One of the World’s Most Liveable Cities
6.    Singapore is one of the world's greenest and most liveable cities, with around 90% of our households living within a 10-minute walk from a park and 70% within 10-minute walk from a train station. There is affordable and accessible public housing - 80% of resident households live in Housing and Development Board flats, with 90% owning their own homes. Families buying their first flat can enjoy the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant of up to $80,000, on top of the subsidised price of the flat. A first-timer family buying a resale flat can enjoy total housing grants of up to $160,000. 
7.    Towns are becoming more technology-enabled and sustainable through features such as smart utility meters and lights, and more green spaces. These features will not only lower utility bills, but also allow Singaporeans to contribute to sustainable living. New growth centres, such as Jurong Lake District and Punggol Digital District, will also bring jobs closer to home.
8.    The transport network is convenient, reliable and accessible, and Singapore is progressing well towards realising the goal of 20-minute towns within a 45-minute city. This means that Singaporeans can walk, cycle, or ride to the nearest neighbourhood centre within 20 minutes and complete most peak-period journeys between their homes and workplaces within 45 minutes.
Strong Spirit of Care and Concern for Fellow Singaporeans
9.    COVID-19 has fostered a strong spirit of care and concern for one another. Many Singaporeans have stepped forward to partner our public agencies in the fight against COVID-19. More than 28,000 grassroots, public service and citizen volunteers stepped forward to assist in the nationwide mask collection exercises. Over 1,500 grassroots leaders and volunteers have taken on roles as Safe Distancing Ambassadors. 
10.   Individuals have also taken personal responsibility to abide by the national public health measures. In support of national contact tracing efforts, TraceTogether now covers more than 50% of the population, with more than 2.9 million app and token users as at November 2020. 
11.   Beyond supporting large-scale national efforts, Singaporeans have shown everyday acts of care. Many have done so through SGUnited, a movement and one-stop digital portal for Singaporeans to contribute toward the national response to COVID-19. Between January and May 2020, a total of $90 million was donated to the Community Chest, the Community Foundation of Singapore’s Sayang Sayang Fund, as well as through the SG Cares app and donation platform. This amount was about equal to the overall donations received by the Community Chest and for the whole of 2019.
12.   Singaporeans from all walks of life are coming together to reshape the way we live, work and play in the spirit of Singapore Together. Since its launch in May 2019, the SG Youth Action Plan has reached out to over 400,000 youths and engaged close to 70,000 youths on their vision for Singapore in 2025. Since the launch of Our Singapore Fund in 2016, more than 240 ground-up projects involving over 9,000 partners and volunteers have been supported.
Singapore is Globally Competitive with a Capable and Resilient Workforce
13.   Singapore is one of the most competitive economies globally, with sound economic fundamentals and an attractive location for businesses to grow and invest. Singapore was ranked top among the world’s most competitive economies by the World Economic Forum in 2019 and the International Institute for Management Development in 2020. Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Economic Development Board secured $13 billion of fixed asset investment commitments in the first four months of 2020. This is among the highest in recent years, reflecting businesses’ confidence in Singapore to site their critical functions here. 
14.   Our businesses have been looking beyond immediate challenges and preparing to seize longer-term opportunities by harnessing growth in Asia, going digital and promoting innovation. Direct investment abroad by Singapore-based companies into Southeast Asia increased by 37% over five years. In 2019, most of the 600 projects that Enterprise Singapore facilitated globally were in China and Southeast Asia. 216,000 businesses have registered for PayNow Corporate and are now able to send and receive e-payments instantly. Business expenditure on R&D increased at a compound annual growth rate of 3% from 2014 to 2018. In the same period, sales revenue from the commercialisation of R&D performed by businesses in Singapore rose from $25.2 billion per annum to $31.8 billion per annum. 
15.   Singapore’s workers are also highly regarded internationally. In 2020, Singapore continues to be the only Asian country in the top 10 of the World Talent Ranking by the International Institute for Management Development. Singaporeans remain resilient and competitive in the workforce, able to tap new job opportunities. They are assisted by a wide range of support including Adapt and Grow, SkillsFuture and other employment support schemes as well as initiatives to ensure fair consideration for Singaporean jobseekers. From 2016 to 2019, over 100,000 jobseekers have been placed in jobs through Adapt and Grow and over 14,500 mid-career jobseekers have also been reskilled to take on new jobs through Place-and-Train programmes. In 2020, the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package was introduced to expand job, traineeship, and skills training opportunities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As at August 2020, 117,500 opportunities had been made available, with more than 33,000 placed.
Singapore is Pro-business and Citizen-centric 
16.   Singapore continues to be one of the most pro-business countries globally. The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index has consistently ranked Singapore among the top three economies to do business in for the past 14 years. In 2020, Singapore ranked second and did well in two other indicators – fourth in the world for starting a business and first in the world for enforcing contracts. Streamlined regulations and improved Government to Business (G2B) services make it easy to start and grow a business, as well as pursue innovation. It takes only 1.5 days to start a business in Singapore. 
17.   In 2019, 77% of businesses and 86% of citizens were “very or extremely satisfied” with the quality of Government e-services in 2019. Singaporeans now enjoy more ready access to digital government services. For example, Singaporeans can easily access more than 40 services from the LifeSG app.
18.   Ranked first in digital infrastructure in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Asian Digital Transformation Index 2018, Singapore has built a robust foundation of strong digital connectivity over the years. Improved and secure digital connectivity is also underway including the Networked Trade Platform, cybersecurity enhancements, and 5G trials. 
19.   SPOR is coordinated by the Ministry of Finance with contributions from all Ministries. Published every two years, SPOR provides a perspective on how the public sector and Singapore have fared in a broad range of areas of national interest. 
20.   SPOR 2020 can be accessed at The report consists of 20 sections across five themes (three for citizens and two for businesses). Throughout the report, there are infographics, box stories, charts and links to provide quick access to relevant information.
21.   SPOR 2020 includes a section entitled “Emerging Stronger as One” which highlights how individuals, households, businesses and the community have stepped forward to partner the Government and one another to assist those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Issued by:
Ministry of Finance
26 November 2020