Future Tense 3rd Edition.pdf - mti.gov.sg

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CONTENTS

foreword

POLES TO POLARISATION

5

A NEW ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY?

7

pivots undER the radar

8

The People’s Republic of Change

2015 is a special year for Singapore, marking our nation’s 50th birthday. As we celebrate our achievements, it is also a good occasion to reflect on how to keep Singapore ahead as the world changes. Optimising resources, harnessing new capabilities and finding new markets have been consistent themes since the early years of Singapore’s economic transformation. However, the environment we now face poses a different set of challenges to address, while existing constraints have evolved considerably.

9

THE SPLINTERNET

19

INEVITABLE SURPRISES

22

DECARBONISING ELECTRICITY

27

At home, we are seeing moderating workforce growth amidst changing aspirations amongst Singaporeans. Jobs, companies and markets are all changing rapidly, fuelling concerns of technological unemployment, footloose investors and protectionist competitors. But these changes also provide opportunities, whether through investments in disruptive technology or commitment to foster closer regional integration in Southeast Asia.

Energiewende 29 Pricing the Environment

31

Batteries Now Included

35

Utilities’ Reinvention

37

Power to the People

38

PUSHING OUT TO THE FRONTIER 41 Japan’s Song of Ice and Fire

43

USA re-shoring: False dawn?

45

The Next SPACE RACE

47

SHARING AS ECONOMIC POLICY

53

Software is Eating the World

57

I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Future Tense.

2 0 1

FG CONVERSATIONS

Foresight’s traditional role has been to help policymakers wade through the complexity of our operating environment and make sense of the shifts. But foresight on its own will not be enough. As we chart out a course for the next fifty years, translating foresight into strategies that can ride out volatility and uncertainty will be critical.

69

JAPAN 95 SOUTH KOREA

97

CHINA

99

ASEAN SURPRISES

102

MUSEUMS OF THE FUTURE

105

THOUGHTS FROM OUR FRIENDS CATCHING UP WITH DUBAI ON THE ASIA-AFRICA SUPERHIGHWAY

107

From Maps to Metaphors

109

Hindsight and Foresight

112

2 5

93

2 0

5

ASIAN FRONTIERS

Mrs. Ow Foong Pheng Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore December 2015

Poles to Polarisation

Poles to

F U T U R E

3

T E N S E

Polarisation

F U T U R E

4

T E N S E

Poles to Polarisation

Poles to Polarisation

Poles to Polarisation

Let’s get over the idea of a “new normal”.

Much is therefore not what it seems. Signals of unravelling are sometimes emerging as consolidation in disguise. In The Splinternet, we see this playing out in the debate over who controls the Internet. Not all the calls for regionalised data storage are based on privacy concerns – erecting digital barriers also allows countries to nurture tech champions. Similarly, The People’s Republic of Change shows how the current slowdown in China’s economy may well be a passing side-effect of ongoing adjustments. The vision of China emerging out of this transitory phase stretches from manufacturing all the way to outer space.

Even a brief look at our global system in recent years shows that things have