Singapore remains open for business even as it is in the midst of making a daunting transition from rapid expansion to a bout of slowed growthas its economy matures, according to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Speaking to some 300 business leaders at a dinner hosted by US Chamber of Commerce and US-ASEAN Business Council in Washington DC, he asserted that Singapore will help companies succeed.
Lee said Singapore is continuing to welcome talent and investment, being home to many US companies. He said he is confident that Singapore and US companies are able to seize the many opportunities present in Asia and prosper together.
“We are focused on growing a vibrant economy, to generate opportunities for Singaporeans. We continue to welcome talent and investments, while being mindful of our physical and social constraints,” he said.
“We will maintain a pro-business environment which helps companies succeed in Singapore. We may not be the cheapest place to do business, but we promise efficiency, predictability and high standards of excellence,” Lee continues.
Lee adds that it is crucial to maintain the economic relationship with the United States, as Singapore is in the midst of transforming its economy.
Total trade between the two countries amounted to nearly S$76 billion in 2012.
Lee thinks the US should adopt a more active trade agenda with ASEAN, as it will reap benefits from Southeast Asia being a big market for US goods and services. One such existing trade agenda is the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Lee welcomed Japan’s decision to join the TPP and had told the business community that keeping markets open is critical to the US’ long-term economic growth and employment.