, Singapore

Gov't to counter growth, inclusion, and sustainability challenges in 3 ways

Finance Minister Wong describes the plan as "ambitious" but possible.

Singapore is facing deep structural challenges in growth, inclusion, and sustainability, but Finance Minster Lawrence Wong assured that the city-state will be able to counter these by doing three things.

To be able to drive inclusive and sustainable growth post-pandemic, Wong said the local government must be able to re-purpose fiscal policy and the role of the state towards building public goods and longer-term collective capacity.

"The issue is not just about the amount of spending, but how and what we spend on," Wong said in his speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) Macro Week 2022.

"This is not a call for bigger government per se. Rather it is about the state playing a more active and purposeful role to achieve important longer-term goals – to raise productivity, to tackle," he added.

The second step would be to renew SG's social contract, fostering a refreshed common agenda between the public and private sectors towards shared goals that advance the broader interests of society.

"For example, in R&D, we must work together to drive technological breakthroughs in areas of pressing need, such as green solutions to tackle climate change, even when the technologies are not yet bankable or investable," Wong said.

Lastly, Wong said Singapore should reinvigorate the open and rules-based international order, with stronger commitments to multilateral solutions.

"Failure to cooperate internationally, preserve stability and invest in the global commons will have disastrous long-term consequences for the entire world," he added.

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