Vital for global cooperation to develop citizens: Heng Swee Keat
Finance Minister also says he will support PM Lee on longer-term issues in his new role as DPM
Amid geopolitical and economic uncertainties, it is critical for countries and international organisations to work closely together towards long-term sustainable development, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.
He called on local and foreign labour ministers and tripartite leaders attending a conference on work this week to grow and develop their citizens, create different learning pathways and utilise labour productively so workers can lead better lives.
The world is facing many complex and transnational challenges such as terrorism, climate change and food security, said Mr Heng.
"As we become more interdependent and interconnected, it is even more important for countries and international organisations to work closely together to tackle these challenges within a rules-based, multilateral framework, and to build a more peaceful and prosperous world."
Singapore is also strengthening tripartite partnerships between the government, unions and employers and investing in equipping people with new skills for new growth areas.
Mr Heng was speaking at the welcome dinner of the Singapore Conference on the Future of Work: Embracing Technology; Inclusive Growth.
It centres around the Work for a Brighter Future report published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The conference is organised by the ILO and Ministry of Manpower, and supported by the National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation.
Mr Heng said Asean labour ministers will be adopting a common statement committing to pooling resources and preparing workers and businesses for the future of work.
Within Singapore, the tripartite partners are working together in ways such as partnering with academics from institutes of higher learning.
Mr Heng said his address at the May Day Rally on Wednesday - his first day as Deputy Prime Minister - will elaborate on how the Government will support the unions to develop a future-ready workforce.
He also highlighted Singapore's shift towards lifelong learning by investing in people from school age to working life.
Responding to questions on his new role at an earlier event, Mr Heng said he will support Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in reviewing longer-term policies on issues such as the ageing population and economic restructuring.
Another crucial part of his role will be to support Mr Lee in strengthening Singapore's relations with major partners around the world.
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