Businesses must ensure a liveable and sustainable planet, not just focus on profits: Ho Ching

Vanessa Lim Channel NewsAsia 19 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE: While businesses pursue profits and financial returns, they must invest in training for their people and also fulfil their obligation to ensure a liveable and sustainable planet for all, said Temasek Holdings CEO Ho Ching on Saturday (Jan 19).

Speaking at the St Gallen Symposium 2019 Singapore Forum, Mdm Ho said businesses have a stake in meeting the needs of society and helping to make lives better.

"For businesses, profits are just a shorthand notation for financial strength and viability. Businesses can thrive only if they succeed in meeting the needs of their customers as their primary mission, but that alone is not enough for longevity," said Mdm Ho.

"If all of us try to extract the maximum amount of grass to feed our own sheep, the village green will soon be bare – we end up with no grass to feed our sheep, and we may even starve."

With climate change posing an existential threat to humans, Mdm Ho urged businesses and organisations to rethink the purpose of their capital so that they can help society and take urgent action on climate change.

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Keep calm and carrot on: how agritech could transform farming in Singapore

What agritech entails, why investors are sitting up, and how it could transform farming in Singapore
CLAUDIA CHONG Business Times 19 Jan 19;

THINK fast: which countries come to mind when you hear "agriculture"? China? Yes. Japan? Probably. Singapore? Not so much. The country has never had a large role to play in agriculture. Yet in the past two years, the authorities cannot seem to stop waxing lyrical about the potential of Singapore as an agrifood tech hub for the region, almost as if to say: There's so much we can do. Lettuce grow together.

But jokes asides, agritech is becoming serious business here. Just earlier this week, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) investment arm Seeds Capital appointed seven co-investment partners to pump more than S$90 million into Singapore agrifood tech startups. The last year also saw notable movements within the private sector as well. Catalist-listed Trendlines announced plans to open an innovation centre to develop agrifood technologies here, and wants to raise a US$40 million venture fund. Global agrifood tech accelerator network The Yield Lab rode into town too, basing their regional operations in Singapore.

And yet when it comes down to it, most of us in Singapore might go our whole lives never being in the presence of a crops farm or livestock. A single mysterious wild cow on Coney Island - which has since died - was novel and exciting enough to gather a religious following.

So what does Singapore have to do with agriculture technology, and why is the buzz getting louder? Here's why you should even carrot all.

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