Authorities seek to expand job opportunities for Singaporeans

Singaporean authorities seek to expand job opportunities for Singaporeans through the Manpower Plan.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore supports the Manpower Plan promoted by the Ministry of Manpower that seeks to establish more job opportunities for Singaporeans.

This initiative establishes a salary increase qualifying for pass holders’ entry-level employment in the financial services sector.

The two organizations worked together to determine the new minimum wage for the financial services sector, which now ranks higher than the rest of the economy.

This initiative is developed with the aim of providing more support to the recruitment of Singaporeans in the financial services sector.

Job creation is maintained

Despite the current crisis, the sector has continued to create jobs, with a net increase of less than 1,500 jobs in the first half of the year.

Of this figure 4 out of 5 jobs for Singapore citizens.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore stated that, although job creation will be slower in the second half of the year, it could be frozen for the next.

This salary increase will allow financial institutions to complement their workforce, said Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Director of Markets and Development at MAS.

“The move toward higher salary criteria for PE candidates complements MAS’s workforce development programs to expand job opportunities and deepen local capabilities, Loh said.

In the same way, he pointed out that a high-quality workforce, with a solid core with specialized skills, will allow the Singaporean financial services system to compete internationally.

He stressed that it is necessary to take advantage of new growth opportunities as economies and global ones recover from the crisis generated by the pandemic.

Singaporeans adapt to teleworking more easily

A recent survey by the EngageRocket platform revealed that between April and June, Singaporean workers adapted better to the dynamics of teleworking.

A recent study showed that Singaporeans are adapting better to teleworking.

Data revealed by a survey shows that the overall productivity of Singaporeans gradually increased between April and June.

The survey carried out by the EngageRocket platform had about 20 thousand respondents from 127 companies from different sectors.

The study found that 23 percent consider that they are more productive under teleworking than when they were in the office.

In relation to the month of April this figure is higher by 15 percent when the switches were just starting

“Productivity levels increased between the inception of the breaker and phase two, reflecting how business leaders are successfully responding to this crisis,” said Leong Chee Tung, Co-Founder and CEO of EngageRocket.

He highlighted that the study carried out by his company shows a remarkable adaptability of Singaporean workers.

Challenges in teleworking persist

Despite the gradual improvement in the productivity of Singaporean workers, challenges persist in teleworking.

Space limitations in the home or distractions from family members can be generators of high levels of stress in workers.

The report even points out that prolonged teleworking can be harmful to mental well-being in some sectors.

For example, finance and technology sectors that rely heavily on a disproportionate workforce can more easily work remotely.

According to the survey, 11 percent of the financial sector indicated that their stress levels were intolerable, while 17 percent of workers in the technology area agreed the same.

In the education sector, 30 percent of workers said that stress levels in the dynamics from home are intolerable.

This was due to the uncertainty generated when schools closed and they had to reschedule entire school activities from home.

MSE promotes Climate Action Week to raise awareness

Climate Action Week to raise awareness about the challenges posed by climate change has been taking place in Singapore since last Saturday.

Singapore’s Ministry of Sustainability and Environment (MSE) conducts Climate Action week to raise awareness of the “Existential Challenge”.

Since August 15, the agency has perform some activities in the city-state with the aim of raising awareness about the challenge by climate change.

Climate Action Week Activities

The activities began with an online talk on urban agriculture by Danielle Chan, a former student of the National University of Singapore and co-founder of the Citiponics agricultural company.

The initiative will run until August 21, among the activities will be held webinars, workshops and even a virtual concert.

Most of the events are taking place virtually and are open to the public.

This week of Climate Action will have the participation of 27 sponsors from the public and private sectors, among which are several schools and university colleges.

Companies such as the coffee producer Nespresso and non-governmental organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature in Singapore will also participate.

Companies such as the coffee producer Nespresso and non-governmental organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature in Singapore are Also participating.

Singapore maintains efforts

The Ministry of Sustainability and Environment of Singapore pointed out that the government will maintain efforts to face the consequences of climate change.

"The nation must press ahead with sustainability efforts even as it addresses the immediate problems posed by the Covid-19 pandemic," the agency said in its statement.
Sustainability and Environment Minister Grace Fu said in a Facebook post Saturday night: "A sustainable nation is resilient and we can all do our part in this long-term effort."

This is the second edition of the Climate Action Week that takes place in Singapore, the minister called on the public to cheer up and participate in the planned activities.

Singapore as a hub for global shipping

This year despite the global economic crisis as a result of the pandemic, Singapore remained as the world’s leading shipping hub.

Its geographical location, as well as the ecosystem of the shipping industry, seem to be some of the reasons that give Singapore for the seventh consecutive year the first place in the Development Index of the Xinhua-Baltic International Maritime Transport Center.

This index provides an independent ranking of the performance of the world’s largest cities offering port business and shipping services.

Considering that 90% of world trade moves in containers, there is no doubt that the shipping industry plays a fundamental role in the development of the global economy.

On the world port stage, most of the market players are in Asia.

Transit remains despite the Covid-19

The crisis caused by Covid-19 influenced all the seaports in the world, Singapore due to its proximity to China, was one of the first ports in which maritime traffic was affected.

However, the statistics reflect some stabilization during the Q1 of this 2020.

Overall, Singapore managed to operate with a total of 53.08 million tons, which is 2% more compared to the same period in 2019.

The increase in container goods reached 32.53 tons, representing a slight increase of 1.5% compared to 2019.

The Port of Singapore

Before Shanghai snatched the position from it, the Singapore port was between 2005 and 2010 the first in the ranking of the most important ports in the world.

The history of this port dates back to 1819, when it was built to compensate for the island’s lack of natural resources, allowing goods to enter it.

Nowadays, the port of Singapore offers connections to more than 600 ports in 123 countries on 6 continents, with 130,000 ships passing through its docks each year.

It is also the largest transshipment port in the world, hosting around 20% of the world’s containers.

Port authorities are working on the development of the Tuas Port, currently Singapore’s largest port project, with its first berths to be operational in 2021.

When the project is finished in 2040, the Tuas Port is expected to be the largest fully automated terminal in the world.

Advantages of Maritime Transport

Maritime transport is capable of offering more competitive prices adapted to each form of shipping.

It adapts to the requirements of practically all types of product through the adjustments of the ships and containers.Despite being a slower means of transport, it is also one of the most sustainable on the market.

Singapore companies and adoption of biosecurity measures

One of the biggest challenges that the Singapore government is facing is reviving the economy in the middle of the covid-19 outbreak.

Currently they have taken a series of biosecurity measures that must be implemented in the public sector as in private companies.

In the following, we will discuss some of those biosafety strategies applied in Singapore and what are the mechanisms established for the business sector to join these measures.

Measures of the safe transition phase

Since July 1, the government announced new measures to continue the plan to gradually reopen commercial premises, companies and other workplaces.

Within the safe transition plan, the health sectors, tour operators, restaurants, religious centers, among others, are the main ones involved.

To this, stakeholders made a commitment to stick to sector-specific hygiene and sanitation checklists ranging from:

  • Safe distance.
  • Good personal hygiene practice
  • Wearing face masks
  • Frequent hand washing
  • The use of hand sanitizers.
  • Know and spread the measures adopted
  • Have hygiene and sanitation certifications.

Importance of Biosafety protocols

Right now the world is facing a pandemic that has affected the global economy, faithful compliance by sectors can help mitigate the effects of the virus.

Companies are the perfect setting for the spread of Covid-19, due to crowds in workplaces.

Consequently, it is the duty and responsibility of the owners to ensure proper compliance of the biosafety protocols established by the Singapore government.

In order to avoid further exposure of workers to the virus and other infections.

The International Labor Organization reaffirms these principles as it considers that many workers go to their jobs.

“Prevention and control measures must be a priority to protect the world of work from exposure to this biological risk and avoid new infections,” says the agency.

Currently, Singapore has implemented a gradual revival of the economy in order to guarantee health measures for public and private workers.

Migrant worker outbreak

Singapore was praised by international health experts for its initial response to the virus in the first months of the pandemic.

However, an outbreak among migrant workers living in dormitories, made the city-state become one of the most infected countries in Asia at the moment with more than 50 thousand confirmed cases.

Singapore leads foreign investment in Indonesia

Singapore remains as the main foreign investor in Indonesia despite the economic impact generated by the spread of Covid-19 in the city-state.

According to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, Singapore maintained its investments in the archipelago country during the first six months of the current year.

Singaporean investors injected $4.7 billion in more than 6,500 projects, representing 34% of foreign investment in Indonesia.

Likewise, Bahlil Lahadalia, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board point out that China and Hong Kong were behind Singapore.

China ranked second with an investment of $2.4 billion in 1,311 projects, while Hong Kong follows with an investment of $1.8 billion in 1,200 projects.

According to experts on the subject, Singapore leads investments in Indonesia considering it a potential market, due to this it prioritizes its investments there.

According to data from the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, in the first half of 2020, foreign capital decreased eight percent compared to the same period in 2019, while domestic investment increased 13.2 percent.

Covid-19 impact in Singapore

Singapore entered a technical recession, confirming the collapse of its economic activity in the second quarter of the year, the most affected by the pandemic.

The data published by the Ministry of Trade and Industry shows a contraction of 41.2% in the indicated period.

The ministry attributed the decline in the economy to low external demand in the context of the global economic crisis caused by Covid-19.

Singapore’s non-oil exports increased in June

Despite recently released data from the Ministry of Commerce and Trade revealing an economic downturn, Singapore’s non-oil exports increased in June.

Singapore’s export performance exceeded forecasts in June as the electronics sector boosted the city-state’s non-oil domestic exports.

The head of research and treasury strategy at OCBC Bank, said Singapore’s growth in non-oil exports performed really well in the first half of 2020.

She said that despite the interruption measures due to the pandemic, there was an annual increase of 6% in the exports and pointed out that the outlook for this next period is indeterminate.

“June data on Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports suggest the worst may have happened, but don’t expect double-digit growth momentum to continue in the second half of the year,” she said.

The growth of non-oil exports represents a challenge amid the recent economic crisis facing the city-state.

Economy in Recession

A week ago the Singapore Ministry of Commerce and Trade reported data revealing the condition of the city-state economy.

The published data shows a contraction in the economy during the Q2 of the year.

According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Commerce and Trade, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell 41.2%, instead of the 37.4% forecast by economists.

The Ministry of Commerce attributed this fall of the economy due to low foreign demand in the context of the global crisis because of the pandemic.

To sum up, Singapore’s numbers give an idea of ​​how the ongoing pandemic could affect economies around the world, as one of the first countries to publish economic growth data for the period when the outbreak has spread globally.

Singapore suffers economic downturn due to pandemic

Preliminary data revealed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry show the impact of the pandemic, the agency reported a downturn in the economy during the Q2 of the year.

Singapore suffered a big economic downturn in the Q2 of the year that led to a recession, this as consequence of the crisis for Covid-19 pandemic.

According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) drop by 41.2%, far above the 37.4% forecast by economists.

“We were expecting these numbers to look quite dismal, although this is worse than what we had expected” said Steve Cochrane, economist at Moody’s Analytics.

The Singaporean government agency also said that, compared to the previous year, the economy shrank 12.6% between April and June.

Singapore is the first Asian economy to report the GDP data for this Q2, the numbers show the impact of Covid-19 on the city-state.

The services and construction sector are the most affected by this economic downturn, the construction sector was practically paralyzed with a 95% drop in this last quarter.

The Singapore government forecasts that the GDP will shrink between 4 and 7% in annual terms, which would be considered the worst decline in its history.

The Ministry of Trade attributed the contraction to “low external demand in the context of a downturn in the global economy.”

Many countries around the world are already facing their worst downturn in the economy in decades.

Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore

The government reported 249 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 46,878 infected and 27 deaths.

Globally, the virus outbreak has infected more than 13.4 million people. More than 580,000 people have died.

The Singapore commercial activity its has a fall

Singapore’s commercial activity registers its worst decline since 2008 due of the spread of Covid-19, as reflected a study carried out 151 companies in the Asian country.

The Singapore University of Social Sciences and Business Times magazine, conducted the survey indicating a severe reduction in revenue, sales and business, representing a decline in all of the country’s commercial activity.

Up to 84 percent of respondents predicted that business in the final three months of the year will be worse for the commercial area than in the same period of 2019 and 2008.

The biggers companies consulted expressed their concern, because the government assistance plans have been focused on small and medium-sized companies and the workforce, leaving out larger – scale commercial activity.

Prioritys: commercial activity or government  support plan

Currently, the government is promoting an employment support plan that benefits 140,000 companies in the country. Last April, this measure was launched and the four million dollars was approved, approximate, for execution.

This initiative has a main objective to serve those companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as to provide support to workers.

The restriction measures are maintained, the government plans for next June 1 to enter a new reactivation phaseof the national economy and commercial activity, however, the Covid-19 outbreak continues.

Cases report

A total of 451 cases were confirmed on May 19 in Singapore, in a statement issued by the Ministry of Health, only one corresponds to a community case, while the other 450 come from citizens with work permits who live in dormitories.

To date, the total number of cases rises to 28,794, with 10,365 patients discharged and 22 deaths, while efforts continue to contain its spread throughout the national territory.