Quality and support of Government behind investors' confidence: PM
The Economic Development Board (EDB) secured $13 billion in new investments in just the first four months of this year - and that money will generate several thousand jobs over the next few years.
It is an extraordinary thing because in an ordinary year, the EDB would attract about $10 billion for the whole year.
So, how was EDB able to do this during a pandemic and a recession?
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said it is because "Singapore enjoys a strong reputation internationally, and investors have confidence in us".
In a video message posted on social media platforms yesterday, PM Lee said: "Investors know the quality of our Government - they have met our ministers and worked with our public service. They also know our Government has strong popular support."
PM Lee added that investors are also confident that the Government can get Singaporeans to "back policies that will grow the economy, attract talent and investment, and eventually create jobs for Singaporeans".
"These have been the fundamentals of our economic success, and the reason why MNCs have kept faith with us," he said. He added that in a crisis it is even more critical for Singapore to reinforce these fundamentals to attract more investments and jobs to Singapore.
It is also important not to lose sight of the long-term mission of making Singapore better, even as the nation deals with the immediate need to get through the Covid-19 crisis.
PM Lee said the recession will be over one day but the world after the coronavirus pandemic will look very different.
Singapore's external environment will be less stable, the world economy will be less integrated, and not only would the world have changed, but it would be a "changing one".
Singapore, PM Lee said, will have to be resilient and adaptable, "to earn our living in this new world".
That is why this election will be a critical one, he said. Singaporeans will be choosing the leadership team they want to get them through the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and beyond, he added.
The next elected government has to save jobs and businesses, and persevere with long-term plans to build a better future for Singaporeans, added PM Lee.
Two things are critical for Singapore to get through the Covid-19 crisis, he said.
"First, the best possible leadership for Singapore," he said. "Second, a solidly united population, that gives the leaders they have chosen full support."
On leadership, PM Lee said the PAP has worked hard to put together the best team for Singaporeans. This team is anchored by experienced ministers and parliamentarians who have seen the country through past crises, and therefore know "what to expect, what to do, what pitfalls and traps to avoid".
The party has also added to its ranks new faces who come from all walks of life, he said. "Indeed, our new candidates this time are among the most grounded, the most organic, the most relatable we have had in years... They reflect our evolving society, and they each have their individual perspectives and passions," PM Lee said.