Singapore must focus on inclusive growth to meet global challenges: Grace Fu

Like any other global city, Singapore faces challenges such as rising income inequality, social tensions as diverse populations congregate, and issues of congestion. As such, "our growth strategy must be an inclusive one", said Ms Grace Fu, Minister
Like any other global city, Singapore faces challenges such as rising income inequality, social tensions as diverse populations congregate, and issues of congestion. As such, "our growth strategy must be an inclusive one", said Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Like any other global city, Singapore faces challenges such as rising income inequality, social tensions as diverse populations congregate, and issues of congestion.

As such, "our growth strategy must be an inclusive one", said Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

The Government's key strategies in this environment have been to nurture human capital, remain open to talent and investments, and address urban stresses like rising income inequality and social tensions, said Ms Fu, who is also the Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, and for Foreign Affairs.

The minister was speaking at the Eurasia Business and Economics Society Conference, held on Thursday at Nanyang Technological University. This is the first time the conference, now in its 12th iteration, is being held outside Europe.

The future economic landscape will be increasingly risky and complex, and Singapore will continue to be buffeted by trends which are shaping the global economic and political landscape, said Ms Fu.

These trends include income inequality, technology driving changes in jobs and productivity, population ageing, and globalisation and urbanisation.

Even as advanced economies continue to show signs of recovery, measurements of income inequality within countries have moved in the opposite direction.

Technology has also tilted economic prospects in favour of skilled labour. The benefits of technology have not been evenly distributed, and could further widen income inequality.

Meanwhile, population ageing will continue to pose challenges to countries' economic vibrancy and fiscal sustainability, she added.

The growth of cities around the world could also lead to problems such as clashing cultures, crime and safety concerns.

Amid these challenges, the Government has focused on balancing the budget, supporting long term economic growth and ensuring social equity, Ms Fu said.

Register here to get free digital access to The Straits Times until Aug 9, 2015.
Comments