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New inter-ministerial committee to review S’pore trade rules and help companies reduce bureaucracy and costs

SINGAPORE – A new government committee will review regulations, aiming to reduce bureaucracy and create a more business-friendly environment.

Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said on May 24: “The Government wants to do everything possible to help our companies reduce regulatory and transaction costs, especially when it comes to transactions with the Government, when requesting licenses or embark on some new activities and innovative business ideas.”

Chee was speaking at a briefing ahead of a meeting with members of the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Business Competitiveness, a public-private partnership created in February 2024 comprising 19 representatives from Government, industry, trade associations and chambers and commerce. unions.

The new inter-ministerial review committee will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Gan Kim Yong and will include Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling and ministers K. Shanmugam, Chee Hong Tat, Tan See Leng and Desmond Lee.

Chee said the committee will engage different groups of businesses to understand some of the challenges they face.

“We will take your comments and suggestions into account and discuss with our Government colleagues to see how we can improve things,” he added.

Chee noted that initiatives like the AfA on Business Competitiveness serve the same purpose, but the inter-ministerial committee will give them a “greater boost.”

He said: “We believe it is important that all ministries and government agencies embark on this rules review exercise to see how we can improve things for our citizens and businesses.”

Chee also noted that the review of trade regulations will be a “priority issue” for the Ministry of Transport. The ministry will collaborate with stakeholders from the land, sea and air transportation industries to gather feedback and revise these rules, he said.

An example of such a review is the re-evaluation of regulatory requirements for drone light shows by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). Chee explained that current regulations require a license for each drone, which is impractical for light shows that use 1,000 drones or more.

He said: “CAAS has obtained this feedback from one of the light show companies and CAAS agrees that, as part of the review of the pro-business rules, we can do better and use a different approach.

“Instead of regulating drone by drone, we will regulate show by show.”

Chee added that drone licensing fees will be reduced from more than $20,000 to a few hundred dollars for these types of events in the future.

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