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16 Quotes from the Prime Minister of Singapore at the APEC CEO Summit 2021

Singapore | 11 November 2021


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered remarks during the 2021 APEC CEO Summit and spoke about seizing opportunity and managing digital disruption

  1. “The COVID-19 Pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies... Digital revolution goes far deeper than the way we communicate with one another… How can we ride on the digital disruption wave to foster economic integration?”
  2. “We must transform our economies and ready our workers for the digital age.”
  3. “We (APEC Economies) need to do more to invest in the digital frameworks of the future – digital identity, digital payments solutions, data exchange, data authorization and consent – these are some of the foundational elements.”
  4. “We must help our workers adapt to the digital economy. The digital transformation will be disruptive, especially for less skilled workers and those on the wrong side of the digital divide.”
  5. “It is crucial for us to invest in our workers, provide them lifelong and continuing education so that they have the skills to compete and can earn a good living.”
  6. “Governments will provide support, but firms need to chip in, and larger firms need to take the lead on reskilling and new skilling”
  7. “Small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 97% of all businesses and employ more than half of the combined workforce in APEC Economies. But most SMEs are not as digitally prepared, and risk being left behind. APEC economies must help SMEs and their workers make the digital transition.”
  8. “We must deepen economic integration in the digital domain. Economic integration was the reason APEC was conceived in the first place. APEC members continue to take encouraging steps towards its vision of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), through building blocks, like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)”
  9. “Recently, more APEC economies have expressed interest in the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA). This is useful as a possible building block towards a larger regional or global architecture.”
  10. “To enhance our cooperation in the digital economy, APEC members should work towards a regional digital economic agreement or partnership agreement. We can either expand the existing Economy Partnership Agreement … or we can develop a new agreement with expanded membership. This will be the new dimension of economic integration.”
  11. “Globally, we need a coherent and concerted response to manage the digital transition.”
  12. “Global digital standards and cooperation initiatives are important. They will enable more people to participate meaningfully in the digital economy.”
  13. “We will need to agree upon and implement effective multilateral rules in cybersecurity. The more digitalized our economies become, the more vulnerable we are to cyber threats.”
  14. “The road ahead is promising and exciting, but it will not be easy. We must recognize and seize the opportunities that digital transformation brings, while also managing the disruptions that it brings. To do that, we will need strong leadership and global cooperation.”
  15. “For digital trade to flourish, we must maintain and enhance an open, liberal, inclusive environment.”
  16. “Ultimately, a digital inclusive community is a common global responsibility that requires the joint efforts of governments and industries.”

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