Gan Kim Yong explains 5-person dining in rule for Bloomberg forum, stresses event's importance for S'pore
SINGAPORE - The Bloomberg New Economy Forum (NEF) is an important event that will help Singapore maintain its status as a hub city, which in turn will support economic recovery and create good jobs for Singaporeans, said Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong.
And as one of the key objectives of the forum is to facilitate business networking, groups of up to five will thus be allowed to dine together at forum venues and other designated restaurants in the city, he told reporters in an interview on Monday (Oct 25).
"We will need to ensure that they have space to be able to interact with one another, so that they can network and meet their business associates to talk business with one another," said Mr Gan.
He added that participants may need to hold discussions in groups, and they will thus be allowed to dine in larger groups of five.
"They also need to make use of every moment that is available, because many of them travel from many different places, and they do want to maximise the value that they can get while they are here."
Mr Gan was addressing concerns over the perceived inconsistency in rules for forum delegates and people in Singapore, who are limited to a maximum of two people when dining out.
Asked why the Government is not allowing Singaporeans to dine and meet in larger group sizes as well, Mr Gan said the scale of risk is different.
While there is a limited number of forum delegates, allowing the general public to dine in larger groups means more than five million people can do so, he added.
"Those who are infected may bring the virus back home and they may have seniors at home who will be exposed to the danger," he said.
"So we have to bear this in mind as we discuss and explore the possibilities for opening up dining in flexibility for locals."
He noted that it will not be practical to impose a pre-testing requirement like that of the forum, which will run for only several days.
If the restrictions on dining in are relaxed in this manner for the general public, everyone who goes out for a meal would have to be tested, which is not a good solution, Mr Gan said.