Insular global landscape would spell gloom

It may be comforting to read Wednesday's report ("What Singapore could face in 2030"), as it posits a positive future with innovative restructuring of economic fundamentals in specific sectors. But for that to happen, will our economy be able to maintain the status quo, at the very least?

There are imponderables ahead. United States presidential candidate Donald Trump has given notice that should he become president, he would compel US firms operating abroad to relocate to America to provide jobs for local people and boost the domestic economy.

If the US manages to successfully achieve this, it may have a ripple effect on the European Union.

With a new wave of nationalism and anti-foreigner sentiment slowly sweeping across EU member states, the bloc might very well follow in the US' footsteps.

How would these scenarios affect Singapore? This is a sombre thought to reflect on.

It is not easy to run Singapore.

Apart from its fortuitous geographical location and well trained and hard-working people, it has practically nothing else going for it.

Whether one likes it or not, the nation lives on its wits, with a long-term-thinking political leadership constantly seeking, planning and re-evaluating options to ensure economic growth and prosperity for its people for now and the foreseeable future.

With many countries becoming more insular, globalisation may incrementally lose its shine. This may affect Singapore more than any other country, as globalisation is the lynchpin of our economy.

K. Kalidas

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2016, with the headline 'Insular global landscape would spell gloom'. Print Edition | Subscribe