The aim of Singapore to be at the head of financing infrastructure investments in Asia in the coming years is one of the five strategies that Singapore Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong revealed in the annual ceremonial dinner of the Association of Banks (ABS) held on 26 June 2009 to develop the financial sector.

The second strategy of the country is to tap on the rising wealth in Asia as investors begin to give more attention on protecting wealth aside from focusing on its growth. Goh notes that for over seven years before the current crisis, the asset management industry in Singapore has grown each year by 20% on the average, showing the potential growth of the fund management sector.

Singapore’s third strategy is to keep a progressive and sound regulatory regime to regain the trust in the sector. In coping with the changes in the global regulatory standards, the government is also open to further raising the regulatory bar.

Another strategy of the country to develop financial sector is that the government will attempt to improve market infrastructure and the risk management capabilities in the country through initiatives to lessen the risks of counterparty. The ongoing effort of the industry to improve the framework for fixing the Swap offer rate (SOR) and the Singapore interbank offer rate (Sibor) is also an initiative that will strengthen the market structure of the country.

Finally, Goh emphasises the significance of building an intellectual capacity and a talent pool during the downturn in developing financial sector. This is the reason why the Singaporean government has coincided to cofund up to 90% for training strategies, which the Financial Sector Development Fund has supported.

Meanwhile, Wee Ee Cheong, the head of United Overseas Bank, has taken over the position of the chairman of ABS.