How far ahead do you plan in your life? In Singapore, we take a serious view on long-term planning. Not just because we want to do it; but because we know it manners immensely to the society and individuals living in it.
On hardware matters, we’ve done exceptionally well. That’s why our PM Lee can say during the National Day Rally 2022 that plans laid out for our infrastructure more than ten years ago such as Tuas Port and Changi airport are progressing well – and the Tuas Port plans of 65 million TEU container will only be complete in two decades time. And now we are also making plans for these infrastructure to be more resilient in times of reduced demand.
This might require some degree of economic forecasting: how much can we afford, how much will that bring in return in terms of growth, how much can we grow, where can we find the resources. When I was in public service, I did get to think through some of these questions; and even now, at Enea consulting, I continue to work on these problem for clients. So at an individual level, it pays to consider doing some visioning and forecasting as well.
For those who are busy daily and worrying about bills all the time, this can seem discouraging and de-moralising but it is precisely what one needs to have that path beyond the daily grind and struggle with the forces in life. Long-term planning and developing a vision provides some clear sense of hope and also allows one to open up one’s mind further to see the bigger picture, and pockets of resources for one to try accessing.