Striving for economic growth is to create more opportunities for all: Heng Swee Keat

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that striving for economic growth is to create opportunities for all.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that striving for economic growth is to create opportunities for all. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Striving for economic growth is to create more opportunities for all, so as to build a fair and just society, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Friday (April 8).

Even as Singapore transforms and innovates, Singaporeans should retain values that have served Singapore well and reinforce its strength for continued success, he said.

Mr Heng was speaking at the gala dinner of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM)'s global alumni event held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

He said that Singaporeans hold values like integrity, resilience and a strong work ethic close to their hearts.

"These values together mean we are a people of our word, a people who will get things done. And our institutions are clean and transparent," he said.

Other than values, Singapore should reinforce its strengths as a choice location for businesses - where local businesses flourish and international companies are keen to invest.

But more importantly, Singapore must not lose sight of the fundamental reason for driving innovation, creating jobs and investing in skills, which is to create opportunities for all Singaporeans.

"It is only in an environment where people feel they have hope and opportunity, that they will be motivated to stay, to contribute, to work hard, to innovate and creat more opportunities for themselves and others."

Mr Heng believes that partnership between people will create a multiplier effect to amplify the impact socially and economically.

"Whether as individuals, businesses or as nations, our impact is multiplied when we look for ways to partner others, here and with friends abroad, to bring our strengths together and collaborate to build the future we imagine for ourselves," he said to an audience of some 1,200 alumni IIM.

kohping@sph.com.sg