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Singapore 'beginning to see signs of stabilisation' in economy: PM Lee

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan12/31/2020 06:10 PM GMT+08  • 3 min read
Singapore 'beginning to see signs of stabilisation' in economy: PM Lee
Singapore is “beginning to see signs of stabilisation” in the economy, even though “we are not yet out of the woods”: PM Lee.
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Singapore is “beginning to see signs of stabilisation” in the economy, even though “economically, we are not yet out of the woods”, says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his New Year message for 2021.

“Employment has picked up, and MNCs are making significant new investments in Singapore. After our most severe downturn since independence, we look forward to a rebound in 2021, although the recovery will be uneven, and activity is likely to remain below pre-Covid-19 levels for some time,” he notes.

In his speech, Lee credited the government for its support given to workers and companies to “prevent massive job losses and business failures”, citing the government’s passing of five budgets in 2020, which came up to almost $100 billion.

See: Budget 2021 to be announced on Feb 16, updates on the Singapore budget, Budget 2020, the Resilience budget, Solidarity budget and Fortitude budget.

“The tripartite partners deserve full credit too,” he adds. “Employers did their best to keep their workers employed, and pressed on with transforming their businesses and re-designing jobs for their workers. NTUC and the unions did their utmost to help workers hold on to their jobs, learn new skills, and find new jobs if they lost their existing ones.”

Calling 2020 an “exceptionally testing year” for Singapore, PM Lee says the country has “stabilised” its situation through “enormous effort and sacrifice”.

“We have achieved our primary objective to protect lives and keep our people safe. We have kept our fatality rate very low. The number of new local infections has come down to a handful a day, and zero on many days,” he says.

“We do have imported cases, comprising mainly returning Singaporeans and PRs, as well as construction and foreign domestic workers, whom we need to build new housing projects and to take care of our people. These have generally been isolated on Stay-Home Notices (SHNs), and thus pose less danger of spreading the virus to our community, although that can still happen,” he adds.

Singapore entered Phase 3 of re-opening on Dec 28 after the circuit breaker measures from April to June in 2020.

See: Singapore to move to Phase 3 on Dec 28, gatherings of up to 8 people allowed

The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines arrived in Singapore on Dec 21, and vaccinations have already begun, although it will still take time for enough people to be vaccinated before “we are safe from another major uncontrolled outbreak,” says the Prime Minister. “In the meantime, we must maintain discipline, and continue with safe distancing and all the other precautions that we have been taking.”

See also: First batch of Covid-19 vaccine arrives in Singapore

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