Business China Chairman Mr Lee Yi Shyan delivered a speech at the Obama Sustainable Development Lecture organised by the Global Alliance of SME (GASME) on 14 December 2019 to share about Singapore’s journey on Sustainable Development since our nation building days.
In his sharing, Mr Lee shared that Singapore has done well in achieving many of the 17 Sustainability Development Goals adopted by the UN. Singapore has become the best place for children to grow up in and Singaporeans live a high comfortable life with affordable housing, easy access to drinking water from the tap and low employment rate. He noted we can achieve this because of people- centred policies and effective governance that had started since our nation building days, way before Sustainable Development was fashionable.
Singapore has also played our part for climate change to reduce carbon emissions, such as having the Resource Sustainability Bill to reduce, reuse and recycle waste and to have greener transport system. Mr Lee ended the speech by nudging SMEs to play their part to have a concerted effort to have greener growth in their businesses to support sustainable development.
Former President Barack Obama, shared his views about Sustainability Development, including his experience during his presidency period. He shared that the world has become smaller because of globalisation and technology, which opens opportunities for SMEs to reach a bigger audience. Consumers have access to more choices and are more selective in choosing high quality products. Hence, SMEs need to up the game to meet the standards of an international market.
He also expressed that SMEs should surround themselves with people of different backgrounds as a business is not built by a single person but a team of people, contributing different perspectives to solve problems. He also noted that as we embrace the differences, we need to recognise the commonalities we have, such as common dreams, hopes and frustrations as that is a sign of progress and we need more leaders to encourage cross culturalism.
The event saw about 200 attendees including SMEs from Singapore and China.
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