The year 2019 may not be as vigorous as the previous years since the ongoing US-China trade conflict will definitely have an impact on Singapore. However, despite the challenges ahead, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is imploring everyone to “keep on upgrading ourselves and improving lives for our workers.”
“Last year was good growth, the year before was also good growth. This year I think we will continue to grow. It may be not as vibrant as before but we work hard; even if this year is slower, the year after that we can make it better,” PM Lee said.
PM Lee met reporters after visiting workers at ground-handling and catering firm Sats at Changi Airport, on the morning of the first day of the Chinese New Year, where he was briefed on the company’s efforts to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.
Mr. Lee added that the global and regional developments will also have an influence on Singapore’s position as an air hub. “The air hub is a very important part of our economy… In the long term, I expect that business will still grow because the region in the long term will continue to be picking up and people are travelling,” further saying “We make sure that we are competitive, (and) they will fly through Singapore.”
On the same note, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat emphasized that the 2019 Budget will focus on keeping Singapore safe and secure and make sure that its industries continue to transform and create good jobs for workers, which means “enabling our workers to learn new skills to upgrade, in particular enabling our companies to build deep capabilities so that they can stand to be more competitive in the coming years,” the Finance Minister said.
Talking to the media on the first day of the Chinese New Year at PSA’s Pasir Panjang Terminal, where he joined workers on duty for celebrations, Mr. Heng informed media men that he will be providing details of the Merdeka Generation package and how Singapore is working to keep the elderly active and healthy, during his Budget Speech on Feb 18.
Aligned with PM Lee’s call for continued growth and positive change, Mr. Heng stressed “The global economic environment is more uncertain and we can expect some slowdown, but we must continue our transformation and remain optimistic that we will continue to make good progress.”
Highlighting the importance of being growth-conscious, the Finance Minister called for all Singaporeans and the national government to “look not just over one or two quarters, but over how we can make an effort in transforming our economy.”