Some people have asked for my views about the useful economic activities that Singapore can offer to the world to create jobs for our people.
We must not overlook that, in any country, a large number of jobs are created to serve the local population. They include teachers, nurses, doctors, police, public service, financial services, transport, housing, trading and many others. If we can improve the birth rate, there will be increased demand for these services.
Each country still has to offer its services to the world, to earn foreign exchange to pay for its imports. Singapore will remain attractive in providing the following services to foreigners:
- medical services
- education services
- financial services
- legal services
- trading services
- research and development
- a nice place to stay and work in the region
In recent years, the attraction of Singapore in exporting our services has been damaged by the high cost of doing business and, in some cases, by bad business practices. These shortcomings should, and can be addressed. We also have to bring down the cost of living, as it feeds into the high cost of doing business in Singapore.
Our strengths remain a highly educated and hard working population, and a good command of English and Mandarin.
We will be able to provide good jobs for our local population, and for immigrants who wish to make Singapore as their home. We do not need to create wasteful jobs in the economic activities that are not good for the quality of life. Our people can work less hours and earn enough from productive activities to have a balanced and good standard of life.