Singapore’s Future Won’t Look Like the One Before the Virus

Singapore won’t return to the open and connected global economy that existed before the island nation went into a partial lockdown two months ago due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as reported by Bloomberg.

Singaporeans will have to prepare for a different, admittedly tougher future with rising unemployment as companies work to cope with slowing demand and movement restrictions from various governments,” Lee said in a televised address. “The city state has benefited from an open global economy, serving as a hub for trade, investment and the financial market. Countries will have less stake in each other’s well-being. They will fight more over how the pie is shared, rather than work together to enlarge the pie for all. It will be a less prosperous world, and also a more troubled one.”

The prime minister referred to jobs as “the government’s biggest priority,” warning that the labor market is likely to be very different, and that many businesses will be hit hard. In the meantime, he said that Singapore is working to retain and attract talent and investments in order to contribute to its recovery. “At a time when some countries are closing their doors, we are keeping ours open,” he said.