Singapore and Hongkong are two Asia cities with global business men wish to have their offices.
Singapore, a close US ally with cordial relations across the region, has faced little international criticism.
Lee, in office since 2004, also told the US think tank that he was reconsidering his previous plan to retire in less than two years.
Lee’s People’s Action Party has ruled Singapore for six decades and, to no surprise, retained power in July 10 general elections in power for 31 years.
But its share of the popular vote declined sharply amid concerns over an economic downturn caused by the global pandemic.
Singapore’s prime minister said on Tuesday he was not looking to woo businesses out of Hong Kong, saying it was more important to preserve calm after China’s controversial security law.
“We think it’s better for Hong Kong and better for the region – and Singapore – if Hong Kong is stable and calm and prosperous,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.
On balance, I would say I much prefer Hong Kong doing well than to have people looking for places to go out of Hong Kong,” he told a virtual event of the Atlantic Council in Washington.
Singapore and Hong Kong are two of the major hubs in Asia for international companies, which are drawn to the prosperous cities’ investor-friendly policies and rule of law.
Lee said the two cities had a “friendly competition” but not a “very serious rivalry,” pointing to advantages enjoyed by each metropolis including Hong Kong’s position as a gateway to China.