Chan Chun Sing: Covid-19 pandemic will intensify competition for white-collar jobs

I thank Temasek Foundation for inviting me to speak at the Singapore Summit Virtual Conference tonight. I had a robust discussion with Jeremy Weir, Executive Chairman and CEO, Trafigura Group and Fleur Pellerin, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Korelya Capital on a wide range of issues including digital connectivity and cross-border flows in a post-COVID world and recent geopolitical developments.
While COVID-19 has accelerated digitalisation in a way that is never before se…en, Singapore is optimistic about the opportunities that digitalisation will bring us. The digital world will allow a country like Singapore to transcend the tyranny of geography and geographical size to connect with the rest of the world as our hinterland and serve the global market with ease.
In some countries, there has been a huge push back against digitalisation and globalisation as some segments feel that the gains have been unevenly distributed. The real challenge that we need to address is not the pervasiveness of technology or the rise of digitalisation, but how every government is able to muster the political will to help their people make the necessary adjustments.
However, beyond the initial adjustments, governments must also remain committed to helping their people continuously upskill and reskill to adapt to the changes that are taking place in an increasingly digital world where economic cycles will be further compressed.
I was also asked on my views about the upcoming US elections and how the results might affect regional trade. I shared that it was important to look beyond personalities to understand the US administration’s larger geostrategic interests in this part of the world. The US has an enduring interest in the peace,
security and economic prosperity of Southeast Asia and I am confident that the US will continue to work with partners in this part of the world to secure its interests.
I also shared my wish for greater interaction between the US and China so that they better understand each other, where they need to work together and where they will compete with one another. It is not a zero sum game and I believe that
the US and China have strategic interests that are aligned in areas such as security and upholding the global trading order.
While the Singapore Summit is being held virtually this year due to COVID-19, I am happy to see that the discussions continue to be engaging, dynamic and thought-provoking. I look forward to being able to engage with more speakers in future editions of the Singapore Summit. CCS
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Quality, not quantity, key when it comes to global talent in Singapore – Chan Chun Sing
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