Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Asia will do well in the next 10 years and beyond, provided China’s development and relations with the rest of the world remain on track.
PM Lee was speaking in a dialogue session at the opening of the CEO Summit on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Honolulu.
During the hour-long dialogue, involving business leaders from around the world, participants engaged in issues related to the rise of China and its impact on the world.
Mr Lee said Singapore will prosper with the region but as a small country, it needs to leverage that with what’s happening in the rest of the world.
These include building up knowledge-intensive industries, such as finance and pharmaceuticals, as well as attracting talent to the country.
He stressed that developing the local workforce is just as critical.
“We have to develop our own talents, as well as attracting from around the world,” Mr Lee said.
“If we do it well, I think we can create a lot of opportunities for our people, not just at the top end but across the spectrum, all the way through the workforce because if you want to lift the standard of living of the whole population, you can’t just depend on transfers of welfare.
“You have to depend on people who will be productive, be skilled, be imaginative, be able to learn new jobs and do new things throughout their career and maybe to their 60s, at least.”