Lawrence Wong: Keynote address - Morgan Stanley's 20th Asia Pacific Summit

Keynote address by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Finance, and Deputy Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the Morgan Stanley's 20th Asia Pacific Summit, Singapore, 17 November 2021.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
17 November 2021

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


1.  I am very happy to join you today at this 20th edition of the Asia Pacific Summit to share some thoughts on the future of globalisation and living with COVID-19.

2.  It has been almost two years since COVID-19 emerged, and the virus has had wide-ranging impact all over the world.

a. We have seen lockdowns of varying severity imposed worldwide, along with closures of international borders.

b. We have also seen major disruptions in the global supply chain, resulting in shortages and delays everywhere.

c. Increasingly, countries are all moving to a path of learning to live with the virus. But at the same time, we all have to deal with the fact that the virus comes in waves, and we are continuing to experience rolling waves of infection.

d. So each time you think the situation is under control, you open up, then a fresh wave starts again, and it threatens to overwhelm your healthcare system; you have to put back some restrictions. You see this happening in many European countries now.

e. Understandably, this puts tremendous strains and pressures on the entire society. But we should have some confidence that we will be able to get through this, and the best way to do so is still through vaccinations and boosters.

f. Over time, with vaccines, with boosters, with more exposure to the virus, we build up our collective immunity. At the same time, we get better treatment and therapeutics, then countries worldwide can gain continued progress towards living with Covid-19, and I am confident that we will be able to do so in the coming year.