Singapore’s Economy is Very Open and Must be Careful, Heng Swee Kest
As per Heng Swee Keat who is Singapore’s Deputy PM, the country is “very open” and it must be prepared to bear on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic that has proved itself very dangerous to economies, financial markets and healthcare systems of the world.
“The Singapore economy is very open and connected. We’re a very major business and financial hub, closely integrated with the global economy so this is a serious crisis,” Heng, who’s also Singapore’s finance minister, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.
“It is a crisis on three fronts: The public health-care front, the financial front, and the economic front. And these are interacting in unpredictable ways,” he added.
Singapore was among the first countries that reported a positive covid-19 case outside of China. Singapore also released economic performance data for the first quarter which reflected the damage done by the viral disease to Singapore’s economy.
Since the initial case, Singapore has already reported over 850 cases of coronavirus infected individuals and three deaths. The country has been quick in ordering a lockdown and tracking down other people who may have been in contact with the person who tests positive for coronavirus.
The swift actions have been also praised by the World Health Organisation as the actions were taken by the nation have been strict and effective. These actions also include restricting public gatherings and shutting its borders.
“Between a complete lockdown and a completely free play as if nothing has happened, we’ve been calibrating between these two extremes very carefully,” said Heng. “If we are socially responsible, many of these activities can still continue.”
The country has been making efforts to run the businesses as much as possible like some schools and essential businesses that are still open and employees are encouraged to work from home.