Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Recent mass media has given extensive coverage on the demographic future of Asian countries. South Korea will reportedly halve its population size in the future; Japan will be a population of the ‘Old Old’; and China will seemingly face tremendous problems as its population ages. Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are also regularly in the news on the impending population crisis. Is Asia indeed facing a demographic crisis of doomsday proportion? What are the demographic scenarios for the future in Asia? Do the demographic changes severely erode Asia’s competitiveness?
During the seminar, Paul Cheung presented an analysis of Singapore's population policy over the past four decades, highlighting its successes and challenges. Cheung mentioned the "Flow" strategy has been instrumental in Singapore's ability to accumulate human capital without imposing excessive financial burdens on society. This approach has enabled the country to maintain positive population growth despite low fertility rates. However, he also noted that the population policy's emphasis on achievements and economic contributions has led to unintended consequences, such as issues related to marriage and racial dynamics within Singaporean society.