Singapore — Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, pointing out that BTS, the K-pop group, successfully adapted to the Covid-19 world, has said Singapore could follow suit and adapt to the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic.

The effect on economies around the world is creating the world’s worst economic recession since World War II. As Singapore is not exempt from this hurdle, questions have been raised about how the country can deal with worsening economy.

In a Facebook post early on Wednesday (Sept 16), Mr Chan shared his experience with participants of the MTI Economic Dialogue 2020 which was held on Tuesday (Sept 15). This year’s event was held online due to the pandemic but the session was reportedly no less engaging.

“I was heartened to learn that most of the participants think that our economy will have more opportunities in a Covid world,” wrote Mr Chan, after sharing some of the questions that were raised regarding where economic opportunities lie in the Covid-19 world.

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During the Zoom session, Mr Chan cited the K-pop industry as an example of how it is possible to adapt to the new normal of a world with Covid-19. He singled out BTS, the global super group that has emerged from Seoul. The group, which now has more than 100 million fans across the world, has been breaking records even in nations that are thousands of miles away from Korea. They have also managed to use their international platform to inspire and unify with their constant messages of hope, love and positivity.

According to a report by the Business Insider, the group of seven brings South Korea’s economy US$3.6 billion (S$4.9 billion) a year.

Mr Chan, referring to the group’s ingenious use of online platforms to adjust to the new normal of Covid-19, said: “I cited the example of how BTS, and the K-pop industry in general, had adapted to the Covid world by digitalising their performances and concerts to reach out to even more audiences across borders. It illustrates how opportunities can be created and new markets can be reached, with transformation and digitalisation.”

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As for the role of youths in shaping Singapore’s economic future, Mr Chan said: “Our youths must remain motivated in order to achieve their goals, and work together to build an economy and society which they desire in the future.” /TISG