Singapore—At a press conference on Tuesday (Aug 12), Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing announced that because of the economic devastation due to the coronavirus pandemic, Singapore would not return to the world it knew before the outbreak began.
However, together with Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, he explained how all concerned parties will pull together to “forge a new way forward” for Singapore.
Reacting to the Trade and Industry Minister’s announcement, Singaporeans from different job sectors shed light on the specific work-related challenges they are facing.
Along with other countries around the globe, Singapore’s economy is reeling from the impact of the pandemic, having contracted by 13.2% year-on-year for the second quarter of 2020, the worst quarterly performance on record.
He added that the forecasted -5 to -7 percent performance for the whole year would negate the growth Singapore has seen in the past two to three years.
In a Facebook post, the Minister added, “The numbers reflect the devastating impact of COVID-19 as well as the deeper forces reshaping the global economy, and our position in the world.”
The Ministry of Trade & Industry announced the 2Q economic figures this morning. The Singapore economy contracted by…
He warned that the way out of the crisis would neither be quick nor smooth, “given the recurring waves of infection and disruption we are seeing globally,” and that there will be no swift relief at this time,” noting the “painful truth that we all need to accept is that we are not returning to a pre-COVID world.”
Mr Chan said that a new economy will be built with more opportunities for companies and employees, highlighting three principles as the country moves forward.
“First, we will open for business in a safe and sustainable manner. Second, we will help our businesses and workers make sense of and adjust to the new world regardless of the sector they are in. Third, we will establish the right macro conditions to preserve our ability to compete globally.”
He wrote in his post that he would “listen to what you have to say – from the challenges you face to the opportunities you want,” and netizens have responded to this by leaving comments on his wall.
One netizen expressed her concerns about the Exhibition and Events Industry.
Another wrote about the problems of PMETs (professionals, managers, executives, and technicians) in their 40s and 50s, for whom they believe the situation will be worse.
One person from the financial services sector also weighed in.
Several asked that Singaporeans’ needs be put first.
One, in particular, asked the Government to take a second look at CECA, the India – Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
Other netizens asked for the tourism industry to be given priority.
A few asked the Minister to “come on the ground and understand the problems and issues face by SMEs.”
Another asked for the creation of an e-commerce marketplace.