US business leaders reaffirm confidence in Singapore's ability to seize opportunities amid Covid-19

The US business leaders made the affirmation at a dialogue session hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore on Oct 6, 2020. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - United States business leaders in Singapore have expressed confidence in Singapore's ability to seize opportunities and overcome the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic.

They gave this affirmation, based on the Singapore Government's strong political will and commitment, at a dialogue session with Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at a dialogue session on Monday (Oct 5).

Hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham Singapore), the dialogue was attended by more than 40 US business leaders, who included the top echelons of AmCham member companies in industries ranging from technology, life sciences, fast-moving consumer goods, professional services and financial services.

During the dialogue, Mr Chan emphasised that Singapore will continue building on its strengths.

"We will maintain our openness and connectivity to the world, so that Singapore remains a choice business hub for companies to site their operations," said the minister.

"We will continue to work closely with stakeholders and partners like AmCham member companies to establish the enabling macro conditions for our companies and people to thrive and be as competitive as possible."

Mr Chan added that Singapore's foreign worker policies were increasingly focused on quality rather than quantity, stressing that diversity, a level playing field and meritocracy were part of Singapore's ethos and DNA.

He also urged AmCham member companies to continue showcasing their commitment to fair hiring practices and providing equal opportunities for all, acknowledging the positive efforts that many companies have taken to support the upskilling of the local workforce.

This has, in effect, allowed the local workforce to gain the skills and expertise required to take on leadership roles, said the minister.

At the dialogue, Mr Chan also laid out Singapore's geo-strategic interests, highlighting the strategic significance of agreements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to trade-reliant economies like Singapore's.

He also called on multinational companies with a regional presence to keep markets open and supply chains connected, along with supporting the free flow of data.

Dr Lei Hsien-Hsien, chief executive officer of AmCham Singapore, said that American businesses would remain committed to strengthening business stability, sustainability, and growth, nurturing innovation and research and development.

Companies will also boost careers through job creation and training and development, including for local Singaporean employees.

"AmCham member companies represent the best of American business values: free enterprise, fairness, creativity, respect for people from diverse backgrounds, and optimism," Dr Lei said.

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