About more than a year ago, Singapore, along with the rest of the world, was faced with COVID-19. In the earlier days of the pandemic, Singapore went into lockdown—streets were empty, the city was silent and shops were shut. But today, Singapore has now emerged as one of the safest countries to live in due to its efficient and quick response to the pandemic, according to Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking.
In its effort to ensure fast economic recovery, Singapore has formed the Emerging Stronger Taskforce (EST) last year. The EST was established to examine the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Singapore’s economy, business and workers, as well as to provide recommendations to the Future Economy Council (FEC) on how Singapore can continue to stay resilient and grow.
On May 17, the EST released a 118-page report and came out with five recommendations to help Singapore to emerge stronger in a post-COVID-19 world.
Five recommendations for Singapore’s economic recovery
Create new virtual frontiers
The EST suggested taking Singapore’s smart nation aspirations to a global scale by adding more to its digitalisation efforts. This can be done by creating a virtual marketplace for goods and services, strengthening the country’s position as a virtual trade hub that enables traceability of supply chains and digitised trading documentation, and also redefining Singapore’s status as a safe and smart city for trade, business, work and leisure.
By creating new virtual frontiers and leveraging Singapore’s virtual training and workforce solutions, Singapore companies can tap into new global markets and resources while local talents will see new opportunities to work overseas.
Positioning Singapore as a carbon trading and services hub
The EST recommended that Singapore position itself as a hub for sustainability to serve global demands in a growing green economy and to combat climate change. This also involves digitising the environment sector and growing the AgriTech sector to be land and labour intensive. This can be done by improving the viability of the economy and the sustainability of indoor vertical farming, as well as identifying more AgriTech opportunities.
Growing "global champions"
The EST mentioned that the government should support the growth of large local enterprises through innovation, internalisation, talent development and merger and acquisitions. They also mentioned that Singapore should enable more small and medium enterprises and micro-enterprises to succeed by having a preventive approach to skills upgrading and reskilling.
What this means is that the local workforce should be upskilled and reskilled in an inclusive and digitally-oriented environment so that they can become more resilient and “queen bee” companies should raise the skills of the wider industry sectors and be open to global skills.
Institutionalise its AfA model of public-private partnership
Alliances for Action (AfA) is an industry-led partnership between private and public sector stakeholders. And future AfAs in the economic domain should be primarily established under the Future Economy Council (FEC).
The EST mentioned that FEC should further refine the AfA model by learning from its successes and failures to ensure better outcomes in the future. Through this partnership, the EST envisions for the AfA to serve as a platform for transformative economic growth between private-public collaboration.
Strengthen international partnerships
A digital South-east Asia can provide unlimited virtual opportunities for the region. This is why the EST recommended that Singapore fosters a win-win partnership with its neighbouring countries. Singapore must contribute to the South-east Asia region as South-east Asian countries are digital partners of Singapore.
Singapore can position itself as a partner for recovery and growth. And if we were to bring in more interested companies to the region, more platforms should be established. The EST also recommended that Singapore strengthen its digital connectivity across South-east Asia to a single digital area to promote a strong and inclusive digital recovery.
With these recommendations made by the EST, Singapore can look forward to emerging stronger in a post-COVID-19 world by focusing on its long-term economic trajectory and offering unlimited opportunities in the digital space.
Singapore has indeed proven its capability to overcome the crisis brought about by the pandemic. Bloomberg has even named it as the safest place to be in during the pandemic. Therefore, if you wish to grow your business in Singapore, get in touch with our Lead Immigration Specialist today!