Relevant to the world
Singapore has the perpetual challenge of lacking natural resources, and having a small land mass with geographical constraints on our sea and airspace. Our lack of space limits our population and labour growth, resulting in a small domestic market.
To grow and thrive as a small city-state, Singapore needs to attract investments from the world. We do this by offering what is needed and wanted by the global economy, including building a conducive environment for international companies to operate from Singapore, as well as forming Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with many nations to gain access to markets. Singapore stays open to ideas and adapts constantly to market changes, so we stay relevant to the world.
Small countries like Singapore need to operate within rules-based systems for our survival. A rules-based system imposes responsibilities on all countries to abide by the agreements they have made, and give us the means to defend and advance our interests. A rules-based system also promotes a stable and predictable international trading environment where plans can be made for the future.
Singapore is therefore a staunch advocate of institutions such as the United Nations (UN) and World Trade Organization (WTO), that promote the rule of law and multilateral governance. We also actively participate in international assemblies, including hosting economic meetings such as the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Supporting a rules-based order is increasingly necessary as the benefits of globalisation erodes and countries seek to protect their own interests. Our interconnected world also requires cooperation between nations to deal with complex problems such as pandemics that could disrupt the global economy.
Responsive and Resilient
A strong economy is key to sustaining social stability and mobility in Singapore. Our quality of life can improve only with good economic and income growth. Singapore has to take active measures to stay resilient while pursuing opportunities, so that we can manage risks and prevail over the boom and busts of economic cycles. This requires having strong reserves and careful policies on how we use our resources, such as land, water and finances. Singapore has to also balance the need for a Singapore core while boosting our labour force with foreign manpower.
To maximise our economic opportunities, Singapore cultivates diverse engines of growth so that we can transform our economy quickly, and cope with sudden disruptions and uncertainties. At the same time, Singapore strengthens trust and collaboration between our government, employers and unions, so that solutions can be found for workers and companies to always stay fit for purpose and progress. By being psychologically prepared, sharpening our skills and raising our productivity, we can create a vibrant and innovative economy in which Singaporeans can thrive and prosper in all circumstances.
(Image: Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore)