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Foreign investors trust Singapore's government and its support: PM Lee
FOREIGN investors know and trust Singapore's government and its ability to command support, which has kept them confident in the country amid the Covid-19 crisis, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday, the second day of campaigning ahead of the July 10 General Election.
Noting that the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) managed to attract investment commitments worth S$13 billion in the first three months of 2020 despite a global pandemic and recession, Mr Lee said this was because "Singapore enjoys a strong reputation internationally and investors have confidence in us".
"Investors know the quality of our government. They have met our ministers and worked with our public service. They also know our government has strong popular support. They are confident that the government can get Singaporeans to back policies that will grow the economy, attract talent and investment, and eventually, create jobs for Singaporeans."
He added: "These have been the fundamentals of our economic success and the reason why MNCs (multinational corporations) have kept faith with us." In a crisis, it is even more critical to reinforce these fundamentals to attract investments and jobs, he also said.
In a 15-minute video on the People's Action Party (PAP) social media pages, Mr Lee reiterated the importance of a strong leadership team, and trust between the government and the people, asking voters to hand the PAP a strong mandate as the country faces the crisis of a generation.
Though Singapore has avoided massive job losses and company closures so far, the worst of the economic downturn is yet to come, he warned.
The government is providing 100,000 jobs and training opportunities, but there is a fundamental need to grow the economy to create more jobs. This is where investment is key, with the investments secured by the EDB set to create thousands of jobs in the coming years, said Mr Lee.
After Covid-19, Singapore will face a changed and changing world, with a less stable external environment and a less integrated global economy. But the PAP still has many long-term plans for the country.
In this General Election, Singaporeans are choosing a leadership team to take Singapore safely through the pandemic and economic storm, and towards better days ahead, he said. It is an experienced team, anchored by ministers who have led in past crises, but also one that has been "refreshed" with a younger generation.
The party's focus on leadership renewal is why younger ministers have been in charge of the multi-ministry taskforce on Covid-19, he said. This is not a dry run, "nor even a live-firing exercise", but "deadly serious, real-life crisis management", he added. "I am happy that over the last six months, younger ministers have proven that they are up to the task."