If you’re worried about your career, health and family, here’s one less thing to worry about.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, has told the world via an interview with Bloomberg TV, that they’re now looking at how to help Singaporeans where we love the most:
Minister: We Also Need to ‘Flatten the Unemployment and Business Closure Curves’
The health crisis, he says, has turned into a business closure and unemployment crisis.
And if not handled well, it could lead to “a rise in protectionist measures, possible contagion effects, and more pain in financial markets.”
He added that a rapid test kit needs to be developed because many who has the coronavirus might not show the symptoms.
With that, international travel as well as “many other activities” can resume.
Four Sets Of Risks
In a Facebook post, Mr Chan shared that the situation is volatile and that the government has to monitor the situation carefully.
Currently, there are four sets of risks they have to take note of:
- A high risk of recurring infections as can be seen in some countries
- To flatten the unemployment and business closure curves
- Policy-induced risks as some countries might start engaging in protectionist measures (read: US)
- Global knock-on effects as countries might engage in competitive devaluation or quantitative easing to bring economies on track
In short, many, many things to worry about.
What Does 2 June Mean?
While most people in Singapore think of 2 June as an extension of CB, Minister Chan has a different take:
- It means more than 3/4 of Singapore’s economy will open
- It also means that cross-border activities will resume if they haven’t already.
The Need To Find A New Norm:
There are always challenges and opportunities in the short to medium-term.
He shared that in the short-term, the government is looking at lowering unemployment in “some sectors”.
The medium-term goal is to shift Singapore’s economy to the new “equilibrium”.
Some of the sectors might have to be downsized while others like e-commerce have to upsize.
Here’s where the various upskill programmes come in handy as the government has to “help our people transit from sectors”.
By the way, DPM Heng Swee Keat will be speaking in parliament again on 26 May 2020 at 3.30pm, this time reportedly to outline how the government will help businesses and employees still affected by the restrictions.
While it hasn’t been called a budget, Mr Lawrence Wong did a #SpoilerAlert and called it the “fourth budget”, and said it’ll extend financial assistance to businesses who are still forced to keep their doors shut.
You can find out more here.
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