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NUS hosts MTI Economic Dialogue 2011

21 October 2011

Mr Iswaran delivering his keynote speech

NUS graduate Miss Ong receiving MTI's (Economist Service) Best Thesis Award from Mr Iswaran

Photo Credits: Ng Jia Qing, NUS Economics Society
"Inclusiveness cannot be reduced to a statistic or specific measurable outcome. It is an economic strategy in which every stakeholder – the Government, workers and businesses – has a key role to play; it is a mindset we must all embrace," said Mr S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, on inclusive growth for Singapore. Mr Iswaran was speaking at a dialogue session co-organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the NUS Economics Society (ENS) on 20 October 2011.

Initiated by MTI in 2008, the Economic Dialogue aims at engaging students on pertinent economic issues and allowing them to exchange views and ideas with academics as well as public and private sector economists. Hosted by NUS for the second time, this year's event drew students from the three local universities – Nanyang Technological University (NTU), NUS and Singapore Management University (SMU).

NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan said: "As Singapore continues to chart its progress forward in these uncertain global times, a robust discussion and reflection on the nature and direction of our growth is most timely. I believe that this dialogue will thus provide insights into inclusive growth and the trade-offs and nuances of the public-policy making process."

The dialogue saw an exciting discussion on economic issues facing Singapore and on inclusiveness, which ensures that the benefits of growth reaches all segments of the society, as a key building block towards a better life for all Singaporeans.

In a session moderated by the Director of the Economics Division of MTI Dr Thia Jang Ping, Mr Iswaran also fielded questions from students on topics such as whether Singapore would come up with a Gross National Happiness Index, the establishment of a minimum wage system and the role of multinational corporations and small and medium enterprises in helping economic growth.

The event rounded up with a prize presentation ceremony recognising outstanding Economics students from the three universities. Mr Desmond Zheng Zhaoqin, majoring in Economics at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, clinched the MTI (Economist Service) Prize (Best Third Year Student) while recent NUS graduate Miss Ong Eng Hui won MTI's (Economist Service) Best Thesis Award.