Businesses must fulfil responsibilities as part of social compact: DPM Wong

Firms must invest in workers, ensure fair employment practices and improve quality of jobs so that workers can enjoy better pay and progression over their lifetimes, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.

These are the responsibilities companies must fulfil as part of the Forward Singapore exercise, which aims to shape and strengthen Singapore’s social compact.

On the Government’s part, DPM Wong said that the Government will create conditions for businesses to thrive and prosper.

He was speaking at Grab’s 10th anniversary celebrations and the opening of its HQ at one-north on Aug 11.

A common objective

Both Government and employers share the same objective: prepare citizens for future challenges, maximise their potential and opportunities available to them.

“And ultimately, to ensure that even as the nation or company grows and prospers, everyone can benefit. In short, we must pursue inclusive growth – where every citizen, and every worker matters,” said DPM Wong.

To achieve inclusive growth, the Government, for instance, will continue to partner industry players like Grab to develop the tech ecosystem by growing talent, deepening skills and supporting innovation.

To that end, DPM Wong noted that Grab has been contributing by helping local SMEs and hawkers to help them upskill and benefit from digitalisation.

Looking ahead

Presently, major uncertainties are clouding the global economic outlook, with Ukraine War and supply chain disruptions contributing to higher inflation, and heightened geo-political tensions impacting all countries in the region.

“But we do not need to feel intimidated or overwhelmed by these challenges because, as Singapore and Grab has done over the years, we can continue to turn our challenges into new opportunities for growth. No one wants to go through crises in life, we all wish for peace and stability in our lifetimes.

But as Singapore’s own story has shown, challenges, crises and vulnerabilities can provide impetus for growth, development and transformation,” he said.

What’s important, according to DPM Wong, is how Singaporeans respond to these uncertainties and challenges.

Emphasising the importance of staying united and looking out for one another, he added that the Forward Singapore exercise, led by him and 4G ministers, aims to engage Singaporeans in shaping and strengthening our social compact, and come together to chart our way forward for Singapore.

“This is not just a Government exercise. It is an exercise involving everyone in Singapore.”

Cover photo credit: PMO