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30 January 2010

Singapore sets aside $100m to boost aviation industry

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Singapore plans to spend $100 million of the Aviation Development Fund over the next five years to further develop the local aviation industry to strengthen its position as a top aviation hub, reported the island state website Today Online.

Singapore's aviation industry has grown by catering to external demand but low cost competitors are fast catching up.

The money to be disbursed over the next five years will go towards developing Singapore's own capabilities across the crucial sectors, from manpower training to growing high-end capabilities in the aerospace industry to a more efficient cargo and logistics system.

Kicking off the funding in April will be the Aviation Partnership and Aviation Innovation programmes, valued at $25 million each, over the next five years. One area in which the aerospace industry hopes the money will help is attracting more - both men and women - to join the industry.

Charles Chong, president of the Association of Aerospace Industries, said: "I think we need to glamourise the aviation industry more .... It appears to be a male-dominated industry, we need to emphasise brain power not brawn power anymore, so hopefully more women will get into the industry."

Chong also hopes to pump up the industry's share of high-end manufacturing from the current 5 percent of market share to 30 percent over the next five years.

Three Memorandums of Understanding were signed at a networking event on Friday, including one in the area of e-freight to get more freight firms to go online and paperless.

Transport Minister Raymond Lim said: "These initiatives will equip our companies with new capabilities to attract more business and compete better in the global market."


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