CFE report could have included long-term macroeconomic issues

14 Feb 2017

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It has missed an opportunity to address structural issues including the viability of the current growth model in the future; fiscal policy reform; adapting to the sharing economy.

The report by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) is a comprehensive document that maps out the government’s current economic preoccupations and policy priorities. It is useful too in reminding Singaporeans of our constraints as a small, export-dependent and resource-constrained economy.

Singapore succeeded economically in the last 50 years mainly because it embraced export-led growth and open markets before these became economic orthodoxies elsewhere. At a time when the benefits of free trade no longer seem obvious to many in the rich world, when government guarantees of rising incomes and job security are no longer viable, and when societies everywhere are concerned about the impacts of technological disruptions, it is encouraging to see the committee reaffirm Singapore’s commitment to globalisation. This is not just good economics; it is also important (political) education for young Singaporeans.

Donald Low is Associate Dean (Research and Executive Education) at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

This article was first published on The Business Times on 14th February 2017.