Budget to address immediate economic needs, set in motion long-term plan: PM Lee

To be delivered on February 20, the Budget statement will address Singapore’s more immediate economic needs, and include measures to implement longer term strategies set out by the Committee for the Future Economy (CFE), said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

Led by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Trade and Industry Minister (Industry) S Iswaran, the CFE will deliver its report soon, laying out the blueprint for growth in the next 10 to 15 years, PM Lee said in his Chinese New Year message.

The report will “identify new and promising industries and sectors, and plans to ensure that our children and grandchildren will enjoy many opportunities when they enter the workforce”, he added.

Lee stressed that Singapore must again renew its economy, taking it in fresh directions, and opening new markets and fields of business — just like how it has always done so over the years. He said, “In Singapore, we have always grown by renewing ourselves. That is how we have stayed relevant to the world, vibrant and prosperous. That is what we must do again now, at this moment when there is such uncertainty in the global environment.”

The PM noted that economic growth last year was “sluggish”, but the situation improved towards the end of the year. “I hope the pickup will continue through this year,” he said.

Lee stressed the hard work needed for both businesses and workers in order to restructure the economy. “We know this from experience. It is not easy for workers to learn new ways to do things or to switch jobs,” he said. “Neither is it easy for businesses to change the way they work, or develop innovative products and new markets. But we have to persevere with upgrading, because it is the only way to improve the lives of Singaporeans.”