Focus on long-term fundamentals: Labour chief

by HRD21 Nov 2016
With the threat of a technical recession looming over the Singaporean economy, Chan Chun Sing, secretary general of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) said that the government is watching the numbers closely but businesses should not be worried.

He added that it is still too early to call it a technical recession (two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth) and that while it seems that some sectors are struggling such as oil, gas, and shipping, “other sectors like e-commerce and financial technology have good prospects”.

“Singaporeans need to view the latest economic figures with a long-term perspective. Short-term fluctuations of such figures are inevitable,” he told The Straits Times.

He further added that the government is dealing with the situation with a three-pronged strategy:

1)    Have a good governance model that provides a conducive environment for businesses;
2)    Connect local businesses with the regional and global markets;
3)    Help workers develop skills relevant to a changing job market.

He said that it is imperative “to keep a tight ship by being disciplined in fiscal spending” and that the Committee on the Future Economy, of which Chan is deputy chairman, have plans in place to help local businesses connect with the regional and global markets.

A report by the committee will be out in the first quarter of next year where they will identify key areas of growth, he added..

"The long-term fundamentals will determine whether we get out of this situation in a better shape,” he said.

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