Home News Singapore PM hopes businesses stay in Hong Kong

Singapore PM hopes businesses stay in Hong Kong

Singapore and Hong Kong are two of the major hubs in Asia for international companies, which are drawn to the prosperous cities' investor-friendly policies and rule of law.

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Singapore’s prime minister said Tuesday he was not looking to woo businesses out of Hong Kong, saying it was more important to preserve calm after China’s controversial security law.

“We think it’s better for Hong Kong and better for the region — and Singapore — if Hong Kong is stable and calm and prosperous,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

“On balance, I would say I much prefer Hong Kong doing well than to have people looking for places to go out of Hong Kong,” he told a virtual event of the Atlantic Council in Washington.

Singapore and Hong Kong are two of the major hubs in Asia for international companies, which are drawn to the prosperous cities’ investor-friendly policies and rule of law.

- Advertisement -

Lee said the two cities had a “friendly competition” but not a “very serious rivalry,” pointing to advantages enjoyed by each metropolis including Hong Kong’s position as a gateway to China.

China in June defied US warnings and imposed a national security law that bans subversion and other offenses in Hong Kong, which last year experienced massive and at times destructive pro-democracy demonstrations.

The move has sent a chill through activists in Hong Kong although it has so far triggered only limited corporate departures from the city.

Observers note that Singapore in effect has similar laws, with the city-state forbidding demonstrations without police permission except in the corner of one downtown park.

But Singapore, a close US ally with cordial relations across the region, has faced little international criticism.

Lee, in office since 2004, also told the US think tank that he was reconsidering his previous plan to retire in less than two years.

“I haven’t decided. I had hoped to be able to hand over by the time I was 70 years old, which is February 2022,” he said.

“But COVID-19 has taken us all by surprise and I think I have to see this through and hand over Singapore in good shape to good hands,” he said.

Lee’s People’s Action Party has ruled Singapore for six decades and, to no surprise, retained power in July 10 general elections.

But its share of the popular vote declined sharply amid concerns over an economic downturn caused by the global pandemic.

Lee is the son of modern Singapore’s founder Lee Kuan Yew who served as prime minister for 31 years.

sct/bgs

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Almost 8 out of 10 vote PN can’t survive GE 15 without UMNO

Almost eight out of 10 respondents on a Twitter survey voted that Bersatu will not survive GE-15 without UMNO, according to BFM radio survey held this morning (22/2/2021) during its Morning Run programme. Of the 206 voters (respondents) in the final countdown,...

Foodpanda rider called “Blur Sotong” by netizen

Singapore — A Foodpanda rider shared his unfortunate experience with a customer. He took to Facebook on Saturday morning (Feb 20), sharing screenshots of the conversation. Posted by Chan Okada SJ on Friday, 19 February 2021 The rider shared that the customer had asked...

Journalist claims Karen Mok is the only woman Stephen Chow has ever thought of marrying

Hong Kong -- Last year, comedian Stephen Chow's public and ugly legal battle with his former girlfriend over their finances gave a rare peek into the personal life of the fiercely private 58-year-old. It was reported that out of all the women...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent