Singapore digest news (27.09-01.10)

Photo by S. Pronin

Singapore's population shrinks to 5.45 million

Singapore's population shrank 4.1 per cent between June 2020 and June 2021 to 5.45 million, largely due to the drop in non-residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is the first time there has been a year-on-year decrease in both the citizen and resident populations since these data were first collected in 1970.

The citizen population has continued to age, with the proportion of those 65 and above at 17.6 per cent in June this year, compared with 16.8 per cent a year ago. Ten years ago, only 10.4 per cent of the population were in this age group.

The National Population and Talent Division (NPTD), a unit under the Prime Minister's Office that published the report, is expecting the proportion to increase to 23.8 per cent by 2030.

At the same time, the number of permanent residents (PR) fell by 6.2 per cent to 490,000 in the period from June 2020 to June 2021.


ICES, NTU, NUS to host $45m projects for Singapore's green plan

The National Environment Agency announced four new projects that were awarded under the “Closing the Waste Loop” Research and Development initiative.

Two of these projects have been awarded to Nanyang Technological University (NTU), whilst one was awarded to the Institute of Chemical & Engineering Sciences (ICES) under the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research. The last project, meanwhile, was awarded to the National University of Singapore (NSU).

Three of these projects focused on developing capabilities for the management of non-incinerable waste. These will contribute towards the Singapore Green Plan’s goal of reducing the waste sent to Semakau landfill per capita per day by 20% in 2026, and 30% in 2030. Up to 100,000 tonnes per year will be diverted from Semakau Landfill, should these projects pull through.


Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore Vivian Balakrishnan

On September 25, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore Vivian Balakrishnan on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The ministers discussed a wide range of issues on the bilateral agenda, including combatting the spread of the novel coronavirus infection. Their in-depth exchange of views on international and regional issues showed the similarity of Russia’s and Singapore’s approaches to solving the current problems of today. They also focused on the developments in Afghanistan and Myanmar.


Singapore sets up new office under Ministry of Finance to catalyse sustainable financing

A new office that will help to catalyse sustainable financing and investments has been set up under the Ministry of Finance, as Singapore looks to expand its green finance ecosystem.
Finance Minister Lawrence Wong announced this during his opening address at the Singapore Sustainable Investing and Financing Conference.
The Green Bonds Programme Office will develop a framework and work with statutory boards, as well as perform industry engagement and manage investor relations.


SGInnovate teams up with World Economic Forum for global collaboration

SGInnovate, a company owned by the Singapore government, announced through a press release that they will enter into a partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and their Scale360 initiative.

The goal of this partnership is to advance circular economy adoption in Singapore and Southeast Asia and was also unveiled at the WEF Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2021.

Access to Scale360 resources will enable SGInnovate to pursue its mission to advance conversations around Deep Tech. Opportunities between startups and corporates can be drawn through the use of Scale360 Circular Innovation Playbook.

On Scale360’s end, the WEF platform will be able to use SGInnovate’s Deep Tech community. This also includes research and development purposes while enhancing global collaboration.


Wage support for aviation sector to be extended to March 2022

The Aviation Workforce Retention Grant amounts to about $130 million and is expected to benefit more than 100 companies, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
CAAS said that as at September 2021, total passenger traffic at Changi Airport is 3.6 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels. Consequently, aviation companies have reduced manpower in response to decreased air travel.
"After 20 months, the aviation sector remains among the hardest-hit of all economic sectors," said CAAS.
The grant was introduced in this year's Budget as part of the OneAviation Support Package for the aviation sector and to "safeguard Singapore's position as an aviation hub".