The prominence of the services sector in Singapore has grown steadily over a period of time. Its contribution to national income in terms of output and employment has grown at the cost of the manufacturing sector.
The nature of the services sector itself has witnessed tremendous change over the years. From the days of small scale family owned sundry services to the higher skilled and higher value added activities like financial services and information technology in recent times. Within the service sector, Financial and Business (F&B) services witnessed the maximum gain in share of total services, accounting for 40% of total services output in 1996. It’s followed by commerce, transport and communications.
National Standard for Service Sector
The Government is recommending a national standard for the service sector in Singapore. Singapore is one of the few countries in the world trying to establish a national standard for the service sector. SPRING Singapore (Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board) has been instrumental in developing standards for services. In 2005 the service sectors contribution was 62% of the GDP and 77% of employment.
The idea of establishing standards for services started in 1998. SPRING formed the Services Standards Committee (SSC) in October 2001.The SSC led the establishment of standards for services with the following goals:
- To nurture a pro-business environment that encourages enterprise formation and growth.
- To encourage the development of selected services industries by way of ventures with business associations and stakeholders.
- Expand the accessibility to overseas markets.