SINGAPORE: As countries work on developing infrastructure, it must be done in a way to ensure that people’s interests are taken care of, said Singapore President Halimah Yacob on Thursday (Nov 23).
Speaking at the Asia Competitiveness Institute Annual Conference, she said infrastructure development is not just about building, but also benefitting people and improving their quality of life.
“We are witnessing how globalisation presents more opportunities and challenges for all of us. Amidst these challenges, we need to continue to pay attention to the role of infrastructure development in facilitating economic activities, job creation and improvement in quality of life,” Madam Halimah said.
She said putting people at the center of infrastructure development can guide decision-making in this area.
Madam Halimah said Singapore has worked closely with the World Bank and other multilateral development banks in building strong regional networks to support growth of infrastructure.
She said Singapore itself continues to invest in building new infrastructure and upgrading existing ones.
This includes building new airport terminals to handle more air traffic, and new ports to consolidate the country’s maritime infrastructure and free up land.
“Even as we enhance our infrastructure to drive up vibrancy in economies, it is important that infrastructure development is conducted in a responsible and sustainable manner. We must take care not to force unnecessary deterioration of natural environments,” Madam Halimah said.
She added that there is great potential for countries to work together to improve economic, financial and social inclusion through greater cooperation in the infrastructure development process.