Singapore remains fully open to trade and investments, says Finance Minister Lawrence Wong

"We are a small and open country," Singapore Finance Minister Lawrence Wong wrote in a Facebook post. - The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE, April 26 (The Straits Times/ANN): Singapore remains fully open to trade and investments as it reopens after the Covid-19 pandemic and charts a new way forward, said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong after a 10-day work trip to the United States.

"We are a small and open country," he wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday (April 26).

"That's why we take a deep interest in the world - not only what the risks and opportunities represent to ourselves, but also to the global system as a whole."

Wong also said he was glad to fly Singapore's flag overseas, reaffirm relations with international counterparts and discuss new areas of cooperation, ranging from the economy to sustainability and innovation.

"All of these will help strengthen our ties with the world, and attract more opportunities for our people - especially as we reopen post-pandemic, and as we chart our new way forward," he added.

Wong had been in Washington DC and New York from April 16 until April 25, in his first overseas trip since he was chosen as the leader of the People's Action Party's fourth-generation team, putting him in line to succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

During his visit to the US, Wong attended the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings and the second Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting under the 2022 Group of 20 (G-20) Indonesian presidency.

He met World Bank Group president David Malpass and his senior management team, International Finance Corporation managing director Makhtar Diop, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development secretary-general Mathias Cormann and World Bank Group managing director and chief financial officer Anshula Kant.

Wong also met his counterparts from the Asia-Pacific and beyond, including Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who chaired the G-20 meeting, Malaysian Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki, and Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

He also met Luxembourg's Finance Minister Yuriko Backes, Turkey's new Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati, Brazil's Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes, Italy's Finance Minister Daniele Franco, Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

Wong also discussed America's engagement and economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific with top US officials, including Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

He also attended the ministerial meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, and met FATF president Marcus Pleyer.

Pleyer will hand over the presidency to T. Raja Kumar, senior adviser for international matters at the Ministry of Home Affairs and current head of Singapore's delegation to FATF, who will assume the post for a two-year term.

On his visit, Wong also spoke at the Peterson Institute for International Economics on the need for governments to repurpose fiscal policy to drive inclusive and sustainable growth in a post-pandemic world, and called for strengthening multilateral cooperation on global public goods.

He also met Singaporeans living in New York at a gathering organised by the Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations, its first such physical event since the pandemic hit.

He wrote: "I was also glad to see Singaporeans flying our flag high overseas, in many different roles. Let's keep the Singapore spirit strong!" - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , Welcomes , All , Trade , Investments , Lawrence Wong


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