Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has vowed to get the economy going again amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday evening while delivering a speech at the swearing-in ceremony for the new cabinet, he said that the city-state’s economic conditions will continue to be difficult, and Singaporeans are expected to lose many more jobs, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We will do our best to save as many as we can, and help workers who still lose their jobs to find new work,” Lee said, adding that the National Jobs Council is urgently working with the unions, business associations and government agencies.
The Prime Minister also said that the government will help businesses that have been shut down by COVID-19 to start up again, and will help the sectors that rely heavily on the international market and have been hard hit by the closure of international borders to pull through, as these sectors are linked to many other parts of Singaporean economy.
Besides, Lee said that Singaporeans must also be prepared that some industries will not return to what they were before.
He said that the government cannot afford to prop up failing industries indefinitely, or trap workers in jobs that are no longer viable.
“The better, long-term solution is to invest our resources to develop new capabilities, grow new industries and create new jobs,” he said.
“Then we can help firms in declining industries to reinvent themselves or pivot to other fields of business. We will also help workers in these industries reskill for the new jobs created.”
In the second quarter of this year, Singapore’s GDP shrank 12.6 per cent year on year.
Lee retained his post as Prime Minister after after his ruling People’s Action Party won 83 of the 93 parliamentary seats in the general elections held on July 10.
It won with 61.24 per cent of votes, compared to 69.86 per cent in last election in 2015.