Singapore is located in a fast growing region – this brings us more economic opportunities but also increased competition. We need to calibrate our policies carefully in order to maintain our competitiveness, and yet grow at a sustainable rate so that all Singaporeans can enjoy an improving quality of life.
In the next two decades, the Singaporean workforce will grow old and start to shrink,even as it becomes more educated. The jobs that Singaporeans aspire to will naturally shift. Even as we work towards maintaining an attractive and vibrant economy to meet the aspirations of Singaporeans, it will be increasingly difficult to find sufficient manpower to support lower-skilled jobs that are nonetheless still necessary to sustain a healthy economic mix.
To address our demographic shifts, we will need a multi-pronged approach. First, we need to continue with our drive to raise productivity through business restructuring and workforce retraining. Second, we must encourage more residents to enter and stay in the workforce. Finally, we must complement our resident workforce with a calibrated rate of immigration and foreign worker inflow.