Singapore remains open to the world in an environment with ‘every temptation’ to turn inwards: PM Lee


SINGAPORE: Singapore remains open and linked to the world, though it’s not straightforward to maintain this in an environment with “every temptation” to turn inwards, stated Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Mar 25). 

Speaking at the official opening of know-how firm Dyson’s new world headquarters at St James Power Station, the Prime Minister famous that the battle in Ukraine could escalate, and even when that’s averted, the warfare will nonetheless “fundamentally change” multilateral financial cooperation. 

“With sanctions and export controls increasingly prevalent, it will be more and more difficult for all countries to keep up trade and investment flows within such a multilateral framework, given their political differences,” stated Mr Lee. 

“It’s not simply persevering with to do enterprise with someone whom you have got disagreements or disputes with, however wanting to lower out and do hurt to someone whom you see as an opponent, even an enemy. And meaning a multilateral framework in which all people can match in and work collectively and co-exist will come underneath huge pressure. 

“Many countries are already on-shoring supply chains for resilience and national security reasons. These are serious threats to Singapore, which has long thrived on globalisation and on a stable, rules-based international order.” 

Although there are limits to what a small nation can do to affect world developments, Singapore should adapt to them to keep aggressive and proceed rising its financial system, stated the Prime Minister. 

“We remain open and connected to the world. And this means not just physical connectivity, keeping our borders open, trading with the world, building our air and sea links, all of which we are doing,” stated Mr Lee. 

The ethos of Singapore’s society should additionally stay open, welcoming new concepts and expertise, studying from others and “never becoming resistant to change” or complacent about needing to keep forward, he added.

“This is how we have built Singapore. Drawing in the best scientists, designers and engineers from around the world, embracing the diversity of ideas and cultures that congregate here, adding our own Singapore touch to make it work in our context,” stated the Prime Minister. 

“It is just not straightforward to maintain this, notably in an environment the place there’s each temptation, particularly politically, to turn inwards and lift limitations to the outdoors world, to non-Singaporeans who come to work right here. 

“But if we succumb to the temptation to close our doors, we will surely end up hurting ourselves. Our economy will stagnate, Singaporeans will have fewer rather than more job opportunities, and the country’s long-term prospects will be endangered.” 


Singapore should additionally proceed constructing a tradition of innovation all through its financial system, with shut collaboration throughout {industry} companions, researchers and authorities companies, stated Mr Lee. 

Under the Research Innovation and Enterprise 2025 Plan, Singapore has dedicated to investing S$25 billion in these areas between 2021 to 2025, with one third allotted to primary analysis. 

“This builds on earlier sustained R&D investments, which have built up our universities, research institutes and academic medical centres into internationally well-regarded establishments, and fostered many partnerships between enterprises and public research institutes to generate innovative products, services and solutions,” stated the Prime Minister. 

“We will work closely with industry partners like Dyson to strengthen translational research so that the fruits of our R&D can be developed into products and services to grow our economy.” 

Singapore will even proceed to welcome and develop expertise, particularly in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), stated Mr Lee. 

The Government has launched new choices to promote STEM schooling, together with providing undergraduates internship alternatives at A*STAR analysis institutes, permitting graduate college students to enrol in industry-relevant doctoral diploma programmes, in addition to introducing a multi-disciplinary curriculum in institutes of upper studying, he added.

Most just lately, the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Engineering merged with the School of Design and Environment to type the College of Design and Engineering, famous Mr Lee. 

“I hope that young Singaporeans will be inspired by science and technology and go on to be explorers, inventors and pioneers of their generation.”

Staying open and linked to the world, constructing a tradition of innovation in addition to welcoming and creating expertise are all “important strategies” to construct a extra vibrant and dynamic financial system, stated Mr Lee. 

“But for Singapore to continue to prosper, beyond getting our economic strategies right, we must also pay close attention to our social policies,” he added. 

“Even as we carry in investments and skills to develop Singapore’s financial system, we should make sure that this development is inclusive and lifts all people up. 

“That Singaporeans across all segments of our society can benefit from the fruits of the growth. That those at risk of being left behind are given an extra helping hand, and those who may be displaced or disrupted by technological change are assisted and trained to stay employable and productive.” 

Budget 2022 goals to construct a “fairer and more inclusive” society, ensuring that there’s “something for everyone” whereas offering a bit extra help to those that want it, stated Mr Lee. 

“Because ultimately, everyone must have a stake in Singapore’s growth so that Singaporeans will support keeping our country open,” he added. 

“(And) will continue to welcome others who are keen to fit in and play a part in our society, who are able to contribute to our development and thereby enable us to maintain the virtuous cycle of growth and prosperity that Singaporeans now enjoy.” 

Singapore remains open to the world in an environment with ‘every temptation’ to turn inwards: PM Lee

Ang Hwee Min

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