Open Ended Singaporean Economy Collapses amid COVID-19 Crisis
The once highly developed economy of Singapore is now losing its importance amid the COVID-19 crisis that has also led to the worldwide economic downfall. The state-owned business enterprises that played a huge role in upholding Singaporean economy were badly affected during the nationwide lockdown.
Speaking on the subject, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Singapore won’t return to the open and connected global economy that existed before the island nation went into a partial lockdown two months ago, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. He further asked the Singaporeans to prepare themselves against the tougher situations that awaits them in the future.
The announcement came weeks after the Singaporean prime minister warned that the economic hit in the country will be more serious than the global financial crisis and long-lasting too, even beyond the end of the COVID-19 crisis.
Over the time, Singaporean economy has been ranked as the most open and pro-business, with third-highest per-capita GDP in the world. The country is spending S$93 billion (RM284.85 billion) or 20 percent of its gross domestic product as part of its economic response, helping workers stay in their jobs as well as supporting businesses and their employees to cope with the fallout from the virus.
As known, Singaporean economy is also a major foreign direct investment outflow financier in the world that has equally benefited from the inward flow of FDI from investors worldwide. This has often made it the regional hub for wealth management and main source of revenue for the economy. But taking into consideration the rising unemployment rates amid the COVID-19 crisis and the companies working to cope with the slowing demand and movement restrictions from government, there are chances that the future might be tough for Singaporeans itself.
Recently, Singapore reported 383 new COVID-19 infections, including 14 cases in the community. 369 of these were work permit holders residing in dormitories. With this the total number of infections in the country now stands at 37,910.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) stated that the 14 cases involved nine Singaporeans, one permanent resident, one student pass holder, one work pass holder and two work permit holders. Out of the 14 community cases, 11 were picked up as part of MOH’s proactive screening and surveillance to identify cases early and isolate them.
Among the ones detected through proactive screening, five were students aged between 13 and 17. Many others were tested because they had prolonged acute respiratory infection from the time they first saw a doctor for illness. In all, the number of new community cases has increased, from an average of four cases per day in the week before to an average of eight in the past week. Though it has remained stable since then.
The disease will be a problem as long as the vaccine remains unavailable. The Singaporean government believes that it could last for at least a year. Providing social support amid the COVID-19 crisis is a must. The island city needs to improve its social safety nets and ensure all Singaporeans have equal opportunities. Meanwhile, the travel industry, such as airlines and hotels, will take longer time to recover from the pandemic as health checks and quarantines will become the norm in the future. This will further impact the high-income Singaporean economy.
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