Singaporean PM affirms policy to stay open hinh anh 1Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Singapore must stay open to preserve its status as a global business hub, even as the country continues to tighten its foreign worker policies and addresses anxieties among locals over competition for jobs, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on August 29.

"We must make it crystal clear to the world that Singapore is determined to stay open, in order to earn a living for ourselves," Reuters quoted the city-state’s leader as saying in his National Day Rally speech. He said the country must not give the impression that Singapore is becoming xenophobic and hostile to foreigners.

It would gravely damage Singapore’s reputation as an international hub and cost it investments, jobs and opportunities, Lee said, adding that it would be disastrous.

While Singapore will continue to tighten its foreign worker policies, it will only do so gradually so as not to hurt businesses, he said. The government will also pass a law to ensure fair hiring, he noted.

On the same day, Singapore hit a key milestone of fully vaccinating 80 percent of its population against COVID-19, setting the stage for further reopening of the economy as the country gets ready to live with the virus as endemic.

"We may have to tap on the brakes from time to time, but we want to avoid having to slam on the brakes," Lee said. "So in the next phase, we will move step by step not in one big bang like some countries but cautiously and progressively, feeling our way forward," the PM added./.