On 18 August, Singapore’s Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong delivered his National Day Rally 2019 speech at the Institute of Technical Education College Central.
Addressing a few issues such as education, the workforce and more; one of the key topics of the National Day Rally 2019 speech was how the US-China tensions could affect Singapore.
US-China Economic Impact on Singapore
PM Lee believes that tensions between China and the United States will have a negative impact on the global economy. “This will not only disrupt the supply chain, but also limit investment and R&D, as well as influence private exchanges,” he said.
With Singapore being a small and open economy, globalization has brought great benefits. On that note, PM Lee commented: “If China and the United States cannot establish mutual trust and the world continues to divide, then Singapore’s economic growth will be dragged down and the prospects will become even more bleak.”
In fact, he believes that many local companies which has China as their main market will be affected. For example, companies that set up factories in China and export goods to the United States will suffer. Commenting further, PM Lee said: “Some people think that foreign companies that don’t want to set up factories in China will consider investing in Singapore, but this is not the case.
“These foreign companies will choose to set up factories in lower-cost countries or closer to the United States and China,” he added. On that note, he advises the nation to be prepared to adapt to this new international landscape.
Some people think that foreign companies that don’t want to set up factories in China will consider investing in Singapore, but this is not the case.
– Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong
Current Economic Situation in Singapore
PM Lee addressed that the current economic situation in Singapore is slowing down, due to the decline in international demand and trade; which has hit local manufacturing and trade-related services.
He said: “The temporary decline in the electronics industry has affected the overall economic performance, especially in industries related to the electronics industry, such as precision engineering and wholesale trade. The retail industry continues to be under pressure from online shopping.”
On the bright side, other areas have not been affected, while layoffs and unemployment have remained low – possibly noting how one of the city’s strengths lies in its workforce. He noted: “We can see that Singapore does enjoy a high reputation in the eyes of investors. The economic outlook is full of variables, and we must work hard to maintain the trust that investors place in us.”
We can see that Singapore does enjoy a high reputation in the eyes of investors. The economic outlook is full of variables, and we must work hard to maintain the trust that investors place in us.
– Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong
PM Lee assures that the government is closely monitoring the impact of the international situation on China and the direction of the country’s economy.
“Therefore, we must be prepared for the future, uphold the spirit of the ancestors without fear and strive for the upper reaches, and work together to overcome difficulties.”
“I firmly believe that as long as the government and the people are united, Singaporeans will be able to enjoy a better life, and Singapore will continue to shine on the world stage,” he closed.
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