Singaporeans must have ‘global mindset, global skillsets’: Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans at every level of society need to have a deep understanding of the type of forces that can impact them, especially as the external environment undergoes changes, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing. 

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia in an interview on Monday (May 21), Mr Chan cited examples of global developments such as ties between the United States and China, the rise of India and the growth of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Chan Chun Sing intv May 21

Singaporeans must have a global mindset and global skillsets in order to understand how these changes will affect Singapore and the type of opportunities they bring.

“The global mindset refers to the way we look at the rest of the outside world. How we can value add to them, what are their interests, what are their institutions, who are the individuals that can shape the global environment," said Mr Chan. 

"We must have a deep understanding of how all these forces interact in order for us to be able to meaningfully make a contribution to the world.”

As for skillsets, Mr Chan said, Singaporeans must be able to work outside the country in order to tap the opportunities that emerging economies can provide. 

“That is a way for us to transcend our constraints as a small country, whereby we seize opportunities not just in Singapore but also beyond Singapore,” he added.

Mr Chan also said that everyone will have a chance to write the next chapter of the Singapore story – including those who have close ties with the country.

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Touching on issues such as social mobility and inequality, which were raised during the debate on the President’s Address in Parliament last week, Mr Chan said that Singapore defines its success by how well the next generation does.

“While we may be small in terms of our population, in terms of the size of our country, we cannot be small in terms of our ambition and drive.

"And if we – this current generation and future generation of Singaporeans – can continue to have the same kind of drive, the same kind of ambition as our pioneer generation, then there is absolutely nothing to say that we cannot achieve even more than what our pioneer generations achieved for us,” said Mr Chan.

“We don’t define success just for this generation alone, we define our success by how able we are to allow the next generation to do even better than us. And I think this is the distinguishing feature for every generation of Singapore and Singaporeans.”