Home News Singapore PM touts city-state as 'safe harbour'

Singapore PM touts city-state as ‘safe harbour’

The affluent financial hub has long been a popular destination for international businesses to base their Asian headquarters, and is home to a large foreign population.




- Advertisement -

Singapore’s leader Wednesday touted the city-state as a “safe harbour” from political instability elsewhere, and said it remained an attractive destination for companies even during the coronavirus-induced global economic downturn.

The affluent financial hub has long been a popular destination for international businesses to base their Asian headquarters, and is home to a large foreign population.

Political instability in rival financial hub Hong Kong, including massive protests and China’s imposition of a controversial security law, has prompted speculation firms may shift to Singapore.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has, however, said previously he is not trying to woo businesses from Hong Kong.

- Advertisement -

Addressing parliament on Wednesday, Lee said that “all over Asia and in the world, societies are under stress, and politics is in flux”.

“In places where investors already have regional headquarters and projects, they are rethinking the merits of their locations, and looking for alternatives.”

“Companies are seeking a safe harbour, where the politics is stable, there is rule of law, the people are hardworking and united”, he added.

Singapore is, however, battling the economic devastation unleashed worldwide by the coronavirus, with its economy shrinking 42.9 percent in the second quarter.

But despite the poor economic climate, Lee claimed many investment projects were interested in coming to Singapore.

While Singapore takes “no joy” in other countries’ problems, he added, “it is a fact that in a troubled world, Singapore is one of the few trusted countries that stand out.”

He also insisted Singapore was still welcoming of expatriates, even as officials tightened policies on hiring foreigners.

Some 40 percent of Singapore’s 5.7 million inhabitants are from overseas but concerns about the number of foreigners, particularly in white-collar jobs, has increased during the pandemic.

But Lee said: “Even as we adjust our work pass policies, we must be careful not to give the wrong impression that we are now closing up, and no longer welcoming foreigners.”


© Agence France-Presse


Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Josephine Teo: From May 1, Dependant’s Pass holders will need work pass for employment

Singapore — Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announced on Wednesday (March 3) tighter new rules for foreigners on Dependant’s Passes (DP) who want to work in Singapore. From May 1 of this year, they will need to obtain their own work passes, such...

😊 – Rest of the word = Smiley and happy: 😊 – Singapore= Symbol of anarchy

  I just saw a news clip in the Today newspaper, which said that Mr Louise Ng, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC), was being investigated by the police for holding up a “smiley face”, encouraging...

Actor seen on Mediacorp’s Vasantham accused by budding artiste of wanting to sleep with him after “private show”

Update as of Mar 4:   In response to TISG’s queries, Selva said: “There have been troubling allegations surfacing recently. I simply wish to say, I did not send any inappropriate message via Facebook. I believe my account was hacked before this incident, which...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg