Chip Eng Seng wins $124m contract to build HDB flats in Sengkang

Chip Eng Seng wins $124m contract to build HDB flats in Sengkang


SINGAPORE: Chip Eng Seng has won a $124m HDB contract to build five residential blocks in Sengkang.


The contract also includes the construction of a multi-storey car park, with a planned community facility on the first floor and a precinct pavilion.


Construction is expected to begin this month, and be completed by 2011.


The new contract brings Chip Eng Seng’s current order book to a total of $755 million.


Earlier this year, Chip Eng Seng won a HDB contract to build some 1,400 housing units in Queenstown.


The group also has other HDB projects under its belt, including the 50-storey Pinnacle@Duxton. – CNA/ir


Source: Channel NewsAsia

S’pore ranked 2nd in Asia, 4th in the world as key centre of commerce

S’pore ranked 2nd in Asia, 4th in the world as key centre of commerce


SINGAPORE: Singapore ranks second in Asia after Tokyo as a key centre of commerce, according to a study by MasterCard Worldwide Research.


The study ranks the top 75 centres of commerce by comparing how they perform critical functions that connect markets around the world.


Globally, Singapore takes fourth spot ahead of Hong Kong which is sixth in this year’s index.


According to the study, Singapore shines as a financial hub for its ease in doing business, economic stability, as well as legal and political framework.


Phillip Overmyer, Chief Executive, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, said: “The things that we consistently hear are that people want quality and stability in business decisions from the government. They want predictability and stability and those are the kinds of things that are rated in this study and show Singapore with very high rankings.”


But analysts said the city-state must not be complacent as ratings for Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong are very close to one another. They added that ASEAN integration may help Singapore break into the top three.


Manu Bhaskaran, CEO, Centennial Group, Member of Research Panel, said: “If the ASEAN region were to enjoy a sharp acceleration in economic growth over the next few years, then the sheer volume of activity that will be generated, will gravitate towards Singapore and that would help us move up the rankings.”


The study also showed Asia and Eastern Europe’s growing importance in the business world, with eight Asian cities in the top 25 list.


And experts said ongoing urbanisation means that economic activity will be increasingly city-oriented. As a result, cities in Asia will make a play for a greater share of such activity.


Shanghai jumped eight notches to number 24 from its 32nd spot a year ago.


London was number one in the global ranking, followed by New York, Tokyo, Singapore and Chicago. – CNA/vm


Source: Channel NewsAsia

S’pore upgrades

S’pore upgrades


Does the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Draft Master Plan live up to its ambitious vision? What do you like most about the plan, and what would you change or add?


THE URA’s Draft Master Plan focuses boldly on decentralisation, bringing buzz to the outskirts. I am positive that with this plan in place, Singaporeans will be able to enjoy the convenience of living, working and playing right at their doorsteps. The result of this plan is the creation of mini-communities within the larger community, and this will foster stronger ties among residents and improve the quality of life. With Singaporeans living longer and retiring later, this plan solves the need for convenience in housing, leisure, work and travel options. I am excited to see Singapore’s next level of development in the decade ahead.


The Leisure Plan shows foresight in planning, as it complements the housing, industry and travel infrastructure. This will further enhance Singapore’s greenery and waterfronts, and ensure the city does not become a concrete jungle – all work and no play. Consideration could be placed on a recent trend where Singaporeans are selecting homes in established neighbourhoods with ample amenities such as hospitals, schools, shopping facilities and accessibility, rather than those in the developing outskirts. By encouraging the public to be in tune with the development of infrastructure, and allowing them to monitor the process and celebrate milestones in the progress, they will be assured that Singapore as a country – and not just select neighbourhoods – is the place where they can truly live, work and play.


– Deborah Ho


DBS Asset Management Ltd



THE URA’s Draft Master Plan to transform Singapore into a network of sub-metropolitan areas and a ‘live, work and play’ haven is timely.


The four redevelopments, namely, Downtown Core Precinct, Jurong Lake District, Kallang Riverside and Paya Lebar Central, must not all be more of the same. I would like to suggest that each should have its own identity and character to offer the widest range of ‘live, work and play’ options for Singaporeans.


For example, the Downtown Core Precinct can be the top nightlife entertainment centre in Singapore, building on the two integrated resorts, the Singapore Flyer and SingTel Formula One. The buzz should be permitted to flourish 24/7, much like Las Vegas.


Jurong Lake District can be transformed into a premier site for theme parks capitalising on the current tourist attractions, which can all be linked by a monorail system to enhance the visitor experience and to take in the lake and reservoirs in the area. Adding a softer touch to the existing industrial estate will certainly give it a much-needed lift. Kallang Riverside can be promoted as a centre for sea sports and other leisure activities, given the proximity of the Sports Hub. Paya Lebar Central can be developed into a vibrant entrepreneurial campus or hub much like Silicon Valley, where budding entrepreneurs can show off their innovations and inventions throughout the year. This could be the place where investors and start-ups meet to seal deals.


I interpret the Draft Master Plan as the government’s recognition of the past, present and future contributions of Singaporeans. Singaporeans work hard and deserve to enjoy a higher quality of life. Why not, when we can now afford it. That said, we must also make sure that the needs of the less fortunate are not forgotten. Singaporeans must continue to work towards being a more gracious society, if we are to reap the full benefits of the Draft Master Plan. Going forward, we have the unparalleled opportunity to work hard and play hard, befitting our status as a First World nation.


– Lim Soon Hock

Managing Director

Plan-B Icag Pte Ltd



I THINK the URA has drafted a novel plan with great foresight for a tiny island with no natural resources and limited space that is facing increasing competition for business and talent from the region.


I especially welcome the plan to build more new homes, which I feel is overdue, considering the rising rental costs and foreign population. Creating quality housing at affordable prices is key to helping Singapore stay competitive and continue to attract and retain talent.


But along with providing more affordable waterfront homes, to bring people closer to nature, I think the Master Plan should also encompass plans for an eco-oriented city – much like the Sino-Singapore eco-city project in Tianjin, China. Besides bringing people closer to nature, we should also remind people to treasure and protect our resources. Including such elements as energy-saving buildings, environmentally friendly water and power supply and intelligent waste management will be the icing on the cake, and will showcase Singapore as a true model city for sustainable development.


– Hans-Dieter Bott

Managing Director

Siemens Pte Ltd



THE Master Plan is indeed an exciting and ambitious vision for our city. It will position Singapore as a global, economic and cosmopolitan city, without losing its Asian and tropical uniqueness. It provides for balanced urban living with nature, green and blue, facilities for ‘live, work and play’.


While the URA’s artist impressions and videos are captivating, my concern is how much of these will tie in with our economic growth and how much will remain a paper plan. While we need to have such a vision, it must also be rooted in sound economic foundations for it to be achievable. We are in a sense competing with global cities like London, Beijing, Dubai, New York and Tokyo, and a city too can falter in its vision.


My second point is that a Master Plan is like a tapestry which acknowledges past contributions yet allows future additions. And the future must include the role of the private sector. On this note, the government needs to have a good sense of whether developers, both local and foreign, will buy into this vision.


Thirdly, lofty ideals if pitched too high could seem costly to the man in the street. He is concerned about mundane issues like accessibility, transportation, facilities, spaces, choices and, of course, cost. The plan should include cheaper and larger spaces, either public or private. An example of the latter would be loft spaces in cheaper zones (think New York) so that creative, young people without much money can thrive.


Lastly, on a pragmatic note, and because our company is in the business of protecting buildings and infrastructure, we see a need to build robustness in the city against natural hazards and terrorism. It might sound strange talking about this in relation to the Master Plan, but increasingly there will be a need to embed security and protection, just as the Master Plan needs to touch base with economics.


– Liu Chunlin


K&C Protective Technologies Pte Ltd



BEING a firm advocate of family values, what I like most about the Master Plan is the wide range of leisure activities available. I can imagine Singapore being a much more interesting and exciting place to live with a round island route that offers many possibilities. Such opportunities not only encourage healthy living but also family days-out to enjoy each other’s company. This will be another step closer to work-life balance.


The plan also gives Singaporeans less reason to complain that they have nothing to do besides watching movies or indulging in the nation’s favourite pastime, shopping.


I applaud the move to create more ‘Uniquely Singapore’ experiences with the slated developments of wetlands and attractions closer to nature. Singapore will no longer be known just as a bustling concrete jungle but also a place that offers scenic reprieve.


Furthermore, tourists can look forward to a kaleidoscope of Singapore’s attractions – both the popular tourist attractions and those off the beaten track.


With much more to see and do, visitors would extend their vacation in Singapore, thus boosting the country’s tourism industry. And with more vibrant nightlife on the horizon, Singapore would also be known for its energetic and cosmopolitan landscape.


However, my concern is that with commercialisation, some of the leisure activities would become expensive indulgences and tourist traps. It should be highlighted that we don’t always have to pay to have fun – and we shouldn’t.


– Annie Yap


The GMP Group



THERE are an estimated 141,000 households in the surrounding residential areas as well as more than 14,000 businesses around the locality. However, as Paya Lebar Central increasingly becomes an important employment centre, the sizeable resident population in the public housing estates of Geylang, Aljunied/Paya Lebar, Marine Parade and Bedok would benefit by forming the labour base for this new commercial node.


Existing commercial buildings or high-tech industrial buildings in the vicinity of Paya Lebar Central could also witness a strengthening of value over time as the entire area becomes a recognised place for work, shopping and community activities.


– Pauline Goh

Managing Director

CB Richard Ellis Singapore



SINGAPORE has limited land resources and the URA’s plan to adopt a winning formula of ‘live, work and play’ in Kallang and Paya Lebar is indeed a step in the right direction. Given today’s high inflation rate and the seemingly unending increases in petrol prices, the ability to reduce commuting and have your place of work and recreational facilities nearby are factors most Singaporeans welcome.


While it is great for someone to be able to live, work and play in one area; doing this from Monday to Friday, year in and year out, can become ‘claustrophobic’ after a while.


For the next step, perhaps the URA or other relevant authorities could work jointly with the private sector to look at plans to jointly invest in and develop mega types of recreational facilities, such as a mega theme park or even an indoor ski resort, to provide a quick weekend getaway in some of the islands lying south of Singapore – without the hassle of flying.


While Singapore provides a safe environment, conducive business climate and political stability that augur well to attract foreign talents, the URA’s provision of a wholesome plan to ‘live, work and play’ will enhance our competitiveness to draw talents to Singapore.


– Norman Yeow

Managing Director

Sanford Rose Associates



AS A global citizen, I have lived and worked in major cities throughout Japan and other countries prior to my current posting in Singapore. If Singapore can realise the Draft Master Plan 2008, the country will truly become one of the world’s few cities that successfully integrate residential, commercial and social needs.


Any thriving city needs buzz (which results from human activity), yet many of the world’s major cities currently sacrifice living standards in some way to generate buzz. It goes to show that holistic urban planning is easier said than done.


The Draft Master Plan 2008 suggests that the government has already identified the all-important goal of harmoniously blending diverse residential, commercial and social needs. To realise this goal, Singapore must seek innovative ways to ease the growing pressure on public resources (such as transportation or telecommunications networks) due to increased human activity.


For example, the strain on transportation networks could be reduced if round-the-clock broadband Internet connectivity – increasingly prevalent nowadays – allows residents to interact online for work or play. High-speed, on-demand Internet connectivity is an example of what Fujitsu Asia calls ‘ubiquitous computing’, and facilitates human interaction via large inter-connected networks and end-user devices including computers and handheld gadgets.


In addition, telecommunication needs inevitably increase with human activity, so the national broadband network should be regularly upgraded to ensure minimal system downtime and sufficient headroom for future growth.


As a leading IT and communications solutions provider, Fujitsu Asia can contribute indirectly to Singapore’s efforts in realising the Draft Master Plan 2008, by deploying solutions for ubiquitous computing or building high-speed telecommunication networks.


– Noboru Oi

Group CEO

Fujitsu Asia Pte Ltd



THE URA has already accomplished a very challenging feat, having successfully given the downtown area the much needed boost in the areas of business, hospitality and leisure. I am confident that the URA’s Draft Master Plan 2008 will work towards strengthening Singapore’s position as a distinct global business hub. The aim to help Singapore achieve a good balance of ‘live, work and play’ will also contribute to a better quality of life for both locals and foreigners living in Singapore.


One of the most attractive and significant aspects of the Master Plan is the objective of bringing jobs closer to home. Not only will this help all of us to achieve a better work-life balance, Singapore will also live up to its reputation as a city that boasts endless business opportunities.


In addition, residential areas that are further from the city also hold a lot of potential to be transformed into mini-hubs, with each focusing on a special business niche. Such initiatives, however, should be implemented without compromising the serenity and comfort that residents value in their neighbourhoods.


– Charles Reed


DoCoMo interTouch



I THINK the URA’s latest Draft Master Plan, though ambitious, is workable if it is able to achieve a critical mass of residents, job opportunities and recreational facilities within each hub. A lot has to go into the final planning to ensure that there is the right mix of each element of ‘live, work and play’.


What’s interesting about this latest Master Plan is the aim to have distinctive features in each hub, for example, emphasising the lake element in the Jurong Lake District. This makes it very different from the monotonous satellite towns of the 1970s like Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio where one cannot really differentiate one town from another. By emphasising the unique features of each hub, they will appeal to different segments of the population.


– Wee Piew


HG Metal Manufacturing Ltd



THERE is no doubt that the URA’s Draft Master Plan will deliver the Singapore government’s vision to raise the quality of living, working and playing in Singapore very significantly. The development of the island-wide network of parks and park connectors will provide Singaporeans with an excellent opportunity to better appreciate what nature has to offer, and hopefully make everyone more environmentally sensitive.


In view of Singapore’s ageing population, the needs of the elderly must not be overlooked in the plan. It is also important to ensure that the new facilities are affordable, pleasurable and accessible to the masses so that nobody is marginalised.


– Darren Thomson

President & CEO



Source: Business Times

BRIC economies gaining clout in wake of crisis: Goldman analyst

BRIC economies gaining clout in wake of crisis: Goldman analyst

They may overtake many of the West’s leading economies in the next 50 years


(ST PETERSBURG, Russia) The Western financial crisis means that the fast-growing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) will grow their share of the world economy even faster than originally forecast, the founder of the four-nation BRIC concept told Reuters.


The term BRIC was coined by Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs to describe how the four rising economies are likely to rival and overtake many of the West’s leading economies over the next half century.


Jim O’Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist who originated the term in 2003, said that the financial crisis which began in US mortgage security markets was allowing the BRIC countries to take a bigger share of world gross domestic product (GDP).


‘On a relative basis, it definitely allows the BRICs to develop faster as they are going to take an even bigger share of GDP sooner,’ Mr O’Neill told Reuters in an interview at an economic forum here.


‘This is a financial crisis of the West and we must not forget that of the world’s six billion people, most of them are not affected by this,’ he said. ‘I was in India four weeks ago and there were no signs of India being affected by all of this.’ Mr O’Neill, head of global economic research at Goldman, said that China, India and Russia were actually growing faster than originally predicted by his research.


‘Of the four BRICs, Russia, China and India have all grown on average 2 per cent more than we suggested,’ he said. ‘It is a hell of a lot so they are now collectively 16 per cent of global GDP, so it is all happening a lot quicker.’


The four BRIC countries have been seeking to form a political club to convert their growing economic power into greater geopolitical clout.


Last month in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, the four sought to formalise their club at the first stand-alone meeting of BRIC foreign ministers.


‘I would hope that Western leaders take note of that meeting and start to accelerate bringing them into the G-8 club and the IMF because the world doesn’t want a separate club just looking after the growing countries – the same as it doesn’t need an old club looking after the declining; it needs a better club involving them both,’ Mr O’Neill said.


‘I think that the lack of progress by the G-8 and the Western leaders to change is really bad and is one of the biggest problems in the world today,’ he said.


Mr O’Neill said that the combined GDP of the BRIC countries could overtake the combined economic might of the G-7.


Detractors said that optimistic predictions about the BRIC economies ignore major hurdles to their development such as future political instability, rampant corruption and decrepit infrastructure.


Economists repeatedly forecast in the 1950s and 1960s that Brazil would become one of the world’s top economic powers, only for its once-rapid growth to stall dramatically in the debt crisis of the 1980s and to stagnate throughout the 1990s.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia will become one of the top five economies of the world by 2020, but admitted that the rule of law needs to be strengthened and corruption has to be rooted out.


Mr O’Neill said that Russia should speed up some of its infrastructure projects and that corruption could sap Russia’s economic potential.


‘At the core of it is a stronger self-confidence in a rule of law that everybody likes,’ he said. ‘In some ways, Russia enjoys stability almost too much.


‘The Russian people like stability which, given Russia’s history, is very understandable and admirable; but it should not come at the expense of things which are needed for private sector risk-taking, which are stronger property rights and a stronger rule of law.’ – Reuters


Source: Business Times

Expat schools make room for growing population

Expat schools make room for growing population 

Aussie school’s $45m extension is latest; long waiting lists at popular ones

By Jane Ng 


THE Australian International School’s new campus extension in Lorong Chuan makes it the latest among international schools here to address the issue of the squeeze on places.

The $45 million junior school complex is a self-contained one on the school’s existing campus.


The fact that it needed this add-on facility points to the booming expatriate population here: many international schools are full, and popular ones have long waiting lists.


All eight schools contacted have either expanded or will do so in the next few years.


The number of expatriates here went up nearly 10 per cent in just one year, from 798,000 in 2005 to 875,500 in 2006, going by latest available figures.


The demand for places in international schools is expected to grow. A survey done by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham) among its member companies last year found that a third – or 22 out of 68 – would be expanding their expatriate headcounts here by about 200 within the next three years.


These employees have about 300 children who will need places in international schools here.


The employees of the companies surveyed had among them 24 children who were on waiting lists.


AmCham has set up a committee to give its member companies better access to these waiting lists, and to work with various agencies to help schools gauge their expansion needs more accurately.


AmCham chairman Steve Okun, noting that many AmCham member companies have been unable to move key employees here because these employees’ children do not have places in their selected schools, said: ‘With most international schools at their admissions’ saturation, the situation is only worsening.’


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently counted the squeeze on places in international schools as a ‘constraint’ here, and said the Government had stepped in to ease the shortage by helping these schools to expand.


The director for education and professional services at the Economic Development Board (EDB), Mr Toh Wee Khiang, said that EDB was facilitating the expansion of the German European School and the United World College’s second campus.


It is also trying to interest top-quality institutions in setting up pre-tertiary schools here, he added.


But at least one school principal thinks the support given is insufficient.


He complained: ‘The EDB is attracting many companies here, but it is helping only some schools with expansion. Not enough is being done for many others. We are pretty much left on our own.’


The Australian International School happens to have room to expand on its existing campus.


Its new block has 40 classrooms for 800 pupils, a cafeteria, music and art rooms, a children’s library, more outdoor eating and play areas and an underground carpark.


The school’s population, now at 1,860, is expected to climb to above 2,100 next month.


Together with its other campus just next door, the school will be able to accommodate 2,500 students – and hold off having a waiting list for 18 months, said its director for marketing and enrolments Kim Douglas.


The school expects to have a waiting list again from 2010.


Its principal, Mr Peter Bond, said: ‘With many schools facing a similar situation as us, families want to know there’s a space for their children before bringing them here.’


He said he expected ‘no respite in the short term’.


The state of schools


Australian International School


Where: Lorong Chuan


No. of students: 1,860


Age range: Three to 18 years


Annual fees: $21,088 to $26,979


Waiting list: None


Issue it is facing: The opening of the new junior school will stave off the waiting-list problem for only 18 months.





German European School


Where: Bukit Tinggi Road


No. of students: 1,075


Age range: 18 months to 18 years


Annual fees: $19,100 to $23,500


Waiting list: None


Issue it is facing: The school is covered for the next three years, but is still on the lookout for a campus nearer the current one.





Tanglin Trust School


Where: 95, Portsdown Road


No. of students: 2,250


Age range: Three to 18 years


Annual fees: $20,000 to $25,000


Waiting list: One to two years


Issue it is facing: The expansion planned in the senior school will increase the school’s total intake to close to 3,000 in five years.



Lycee Fran?ais de Singapour (French School of Singapore


Where: Ang Mo Kio Ave 3


No. of students: 1,390


Age range: Two to 18 years


Annual fees: $11,000 to $21,500


Waiting list: 50 children


Issue it is facing: To create 26 more classrooms, the school will demolish and rebuild the kindergarten block. This will allow the school to take in 2,000 students by 2011.





DPS International School


Where: 36 Aroozoo Avenue


No. of students: 250


Age range: Four to 17 years


Waiting list: Three months


Annual fees: $4,200 to $5,700


Issue it is facing: Open since 2004, the school is planning to set up another branch soon.





NPS International School


Where: 10 & 12 Chai Chee Lane


No. of students: 212 as at May 2008


Age range: Four to 15 years


Waiting list: None for now.


Annual fees: $7,800 to $11,400


Issue it is facing: Plans to expand but may not be soon.





United World College Southeast Asia


Where: Dover and Ang Mo Kio (Holding campus)


No. of students: 2,900


Age range: Four to 18 years


Waiting list: Nine months


Annual fees: $19,485 to $24,315


Issue it is facing: The school’s long waiting list gave it the push to set up a second campus in Tampines by 2010.


Source: Straits Times

No signs of a recession, says Tharman

No signs of a recession, says Tharman 

But the hike in fuel prices in Malaysia will cause discomfort here


SINGAPORE is not heading for a recession, said Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, although fuel price increases in Malaysia would lead to discomfort.

‘From all indications we have at this point, I don’t think we’re heading for a recession.


‘But there will be discomfort on the ground,’ he said, speaking to Channel NewsAsia at the Entrepreneur-in-You Carnival at Republic Polytechnic.


At the event, about 7,000 people turned up to pick up tips on starting their own business.


‘Unfortunately, the fuel price increase in Malaysia does mean that vegetable, poultry and some other prices will go up. We can’t avoid that,’ he said.


Malaysia‘s decision to trim subsidies for petrol and diesel and raise pump prices has meant that overnight, there has been a 41 per cent increase in petrol prices, from 80 Singapore cents to $1.13 per litre, while diesel prices rose 63 per cent, from 66 cents to $1.08 per litre.


Prices of a range of goods are set to go up as the cost of trucking them in rises, and fresh food tops the list.


But practically everything imported from Malaysia, including building materials, will also cost more soon.


He added that it was fortunate that rice prices globally were going down.


‘But overall, we’re in a situation which isn’t temporary – this will be with us for a while.


‘Commodity prices are much higher than what they used to be,’ he said.


This was being tackled through government measures such as Growth Dividends, goods and services tax (GST) credits, as well community initiatives on the ground, he said.


Source: Straits Times

Tharman Shanmugaratnam says S’pore not headed for a recession

Tharman Shanmugaratnam says S’pore not headed for a recession


SINGAPORE : Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Sunday gave the assurance that Singapore is not heading for a recession.


Speaking at a community event, Mr Tharman said, “From all indications we have at this point, I don’t think we’re heading for a recession. But there will be discomfort on the ground. Unfortunately, the fuel price increase in Malaysia does mean that vegetable, poultry and some other prices will go up. We can’t avoid that. Fortunately, rice prices globally are coming down.


“But overall, we’re in a situation which isn’t temporary – this will be with us for a while. Commodity prices are much higher than what they used to be. But we’re tackling it, and we’re confident of tackling it – both through the government’s measures, the Growth Dividends, the GST Credits, as well as the way in which you see a lot of community initiatives on the ground.”


Mr Tharman was speaking to reporters at the Entrepreneur-in-You Carnival at Republic Polytechnic, where some 7,000 people turned up to pick up tips on starting their own business.


The carnival included forums, workshops and an exhibition to nurture business acumen.


There were also winning business presentations by tertiary institutions, and a presentation of the 2008 Youth Enterprise Awards.


The People’s Association organised the event to encourage Singaporeans to be entrepreneurial. – CNA/ms


Source: Channel NewsAsia

Tharman: S’pore not headed for recession

Tharman: S’pore not headed for recession

But there will be discomfort on the ground, he says


DESPITE the growing prices of food and oil around the world, Singapore is not heading for a economic recession, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday.



According to Channel NewsAsia reports, Mr Tharman said at a community event that from all indications at this point, he did not think Singapore was heading for an economic recession.


But he admitted that there would be discomfort on the ground.


‘But overall, we are in a situation which isn’t temporary. This will be with us for a while,’ he said, adding that ‘commodity prices are much higher than what they used to be. But we are tackling it, and we are confident of tackling it, both through the government’s measures, the growth dividends, the goods and services tax credits, as well as the way in which you see a lot of community initiatives on the ground.’


In April, Singapore’s annual inflation rose more than expected to a 26-year high of 7.5 per cent due to higher oil and food prices, prompting the government in May to raise its full-year inflation forecast to 5-6 per cent from 4.5-5.5 per cent.


Gross domestic product in Singapore grew 6.7 per cent in the first quarter of this year from a year ago, and the government stood by its GDP growth forecast of 4-6 per cent this year, which is below the average growth of about 8.1 per cent in the last four years. — Xinhua


Source: Business Times