Singapore committed to reopening economy, borders to rest of the world | Inquirer News
Close  

Singapore committed to reopening economy, borders to rest of the world

/ 05:28 PM February 15, 2022
S'pore committed to reopening borders, will open VTLs with more countries when possible: DPM Heng

The new Boeing 777X plane being readied on Feb 13 for its Asian debut at the Singapore Airshow. The Straits Times/Asia News Network

SINGAPORE – Singapore is committed to reopening its economy and borders to the rest of the world, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday (Feb 14).

The continued opening of the vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) for quarantine-free travel with more than 20 countries in spite of the global surge in Covid-19 cases reflects this commitment, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The country will also extend VTLs to more countries when the situation permits, Mr Heng added.

“With the roll-out of vaccines and boosters, many countries are relaxing travel restrictions,” he said. “Singapore is committed to do our part to resume global air travel.”

FEATURED STORIES

Mr Heng, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Singapore Airshow 2022, cited the event as another example of Singapore’s commitment to reopening.

The airshow will be smaller in scale compared with previous airshows, with attendance hit by the uncertain Covid-19 situation worldwide and accompanying restrictions.

Nevertheless, it will still be the largest trade event since the Covid-19 pandemic struck Singapore.

Mr Heng, who is also the Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, said the airshow is important in underlining Singapore’s belief in the long-term prospects of the aviation and aerospace sectors.

He said the fundamentals for growth are strong, citing the increasingly interconnected global economy, a fast-growing middle class and improved air connectivity.

“Singapore is committed – as a global air hub – to grow the aviation and aerospace sectors,” added Mr Heng.

“Our efforts today will not only define the current flight path, but will also set the trajectory 10 to 20 years from now.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In the present, the Government has put in more than $1 billion to support the aviation and aerospace sectors to protect jobs and preserve capabilities amid the pandemic.

It has also continued to invest in infrastructure, said Mr Heng.

One example of this investment is the new aeroSpace Three development at the Seletar Aerospace Park, which lets aerospace companies tap smart factory solutions. The construction of this facility will be completed this year.

Looking ahead to the next 10 years, the flight path for the aviation and aerospace sectors will be defined by digitalisation and sustainability, said Mr Heng. The two sectors will thus have to transform in response to these two drivers.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat delivers the opening address at the Singapore Airshow on Feb 14, 2022. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Beyond the next two decades, the two sectors must imagine new possibilities and develop capabilities to reshape the future of aviation, he added.

One example is in the area of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs), which is also informally known as flying taxis.

Mr Heng said that Singapore will seek to capitalise on the growth of the global eVTOL market by growing the advanced air mobility community at Seletar Aerospace Park. The country will aim to create an ecosystem for a range of activities, including research and manufacturing.

“To give a boost to this nascent industry, we are exploring the feasibility of the first piloted eVTOL trial in Singapore, possibly along the Greater Southern Waterfront,” said Mr Heng.

The Government will also work with industry players to develop use cases and operating frameworks, he added.

Mr Heng concluded his speech by urging the aviation and aerospace sectors to work together to come out from the pandemic stronger.

At the Singapore Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum on Monday, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said the aerospace industry continues to be an important industry for Singapore.

He noted that the industry is seeing signs of recovery despite the challenge posed by the pandemic. Last year, the industry grew by 8.8 per cent.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, and demand for air travel grows, we are confident that the aerospace industry will rebound and thrive in the post-Covid-19 recovery,” said Dr Tan.

RELATED STORIES

Singapore Airshow expects sharp fall in visitor numbers–organizer

Singapore shrinks as COVID takes shine off expatriate life

Omicron cases now make up 17% of COVID-19 infections in Singapore

The Great Resignation: Has the global trend reached Singapore?

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: COVID-19, Economy, Health, Singapore, Travel
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.