The Emerging Stronger Conversation on the Economy 2020
The Emerging Strong Conversation (ESC), as part of the Singapore Together Movement, is an avenue for Singaporeans to collectively reflect and reimagine Singapore’s resilient future in a post-COVID society. The webinar encourages Singaporeans to share their views with the Emerging Stronger Taskforce (EST), on specific areas that can be improved on to create a better Singapore.
The EST was established by the Future Economy Council, to look beyond immediate challenges and oversee longer-term work of responding to the structural shifts, so that Singapore’s economy can emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis. The taskforce is co-chaired by Minister of National Development Mr Desmond Lee and PSA International Group CEO Mr Tan Chong Meng and consists of 15 other industry representatives across the various sectors.
The Emerging Stronger Conversation on the Economy
With the sharing by Mr Desmond Lee (Minister for National Development, Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration & Co-Chair of EST), Ms Low Yen Ling (Minister of State, Minister of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth), Mr Tan Chong Meng (Group CEO of PSA International & Co-Chair of EST), as well as participants of this session, two focused topics were explored.
- What are the risks and opportunities identified in Singapore?
- What actions can be taken by individuals, organisations and industry sectors to resolve them?
Understanding Singapore’s Risks and Opportunities
The first discussion within breakout groups sought to understand the different perspectives on the current risks and opportunities present in Singapore’s economy amidst a pandemic. Some participants mentioned that the gig economy where many graduates take on quick jobs with low barriers of entry and high flexibility poses a risk as it may be unsustainable in the long run. 3E Accounting pointed out that due to COVID-19, one of the biggest risks of remote work is the potential cheap-sourcing from global markets. Instead, companies should recognize the quality of Singapore’s workforce and Singapore’s brand. At 3E Accounting, we recruited local graduates under the SGUnited Traineeship to complement our Hong Kong team, and remotely support the overseas clients of 3E Accounting Limited.
As such, we believe that the pandemic presents an opportunity for SME firms to hire trainees due to the government’s support and the increasing number of graduates who are willing to take up traineeships and work in an SME.
Proposed Solutions to Address Identified Risks and Issues
The second discussion topic revolves around actions that can be taken by individuals, organisations and industry sectors to resolve the identified risks and issues. 3E Accounting highlighted that if the Overseas Marketing Presence (OMP) can be adjusted to include supporting Singaporeans who are remotely supporting overseas operations, this would encourage more home-grown businesses to expand internationally. Other participants have voiced that decentralizing the big idea of digitalization to a community level might potentially increase the adoption of technology.
The EST will take the participants’ views and proposed solutions into consideration to prepare the measures to help Singapore emerge stronger post COVID-19.