Intervention by PM Lee Hsien Loong on "Global Economy and Global Health" at the G20 Rome Summit

Intervention by PM Lee Hsien Loong in Session 1 "Global Economy and Global Health" at the G20 Rome Summit on 30 October 2021.


Your Excellencies, 

Thank you, Prime Minister Draghi, for Italy’s excellent arrangements and hospitality today. Singapore is honoured to be invited to this G20 meeting and I am glad to meet fellow Leaders in-person again.

Even as the global economy continues to recover, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a challenge. New variants, more infectious or vaccine-resistant, may yet emerge. Meanwhile, countries still face the enormous economic, social, and human costs of the pandemic.

Building collective resilience will be essential. In the near-term, this means faster manufacture and deployment of vaccines worldwide toensure a more durable and equitable recovery. In the longer-term, it means strengthening pandemic preparedness and response.

Singapore commends the Italian Presidency for galvanising global cooperation to quell this pandemic and to prepare for future health crises. The proposed reforms and initiatives to strengthen healthcare financing are important first steps. The current global system for public health is significantly underfunded, and mobilising concerted action takes far too long. We need a mechanism for credible and inclusive global governance, as well as predictable and sustained funding to plug gaps in global health security. The World Health Organization shares this view. Singapore’s Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam co-chaired the G20 High-Level Independent Panel. Singapore is glad to have contributed to this panel. We look forward to concrete deliverables to improve global health coordination and financing in order to better prepare for the next pandemic.

Regionally and internationally, Singapore has played our part: We contributed to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment and the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund. We donated vaccines, oxygen, and other critical supplies to those that needed them;. We used Singapore’s logistics capability, airport, and ultra-cold chain facilities, to become a distribution hub for vaccines.

We look forward to borders re-opening and to further resumption of international trade and cross-border activities, in a safe manner. We urge greater efforts to work with international bodies like the ICAO, WHO and IATA in order tot establish standardised safe travel protocols and mutually recognised and interoperable digital health certificates.

A rules-based international system for free and open trade and global supply chains is critical to generate a sustained recovery and create new jobs.

If we do this well, we can all look forward to a more prosperous and resilient future. Thank you.


Healthcare , Economy