Singapore’s economy is expected to grow at 1-3 percent in 2013 and
an average of 3-4 percent for the rest of the decade, according to Trade
and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang.
Lim said in the
Parliament earlier this week during the ministry’s 2013 budget debate
that due to the weak external environment and the tighter labour
situation domestically, Singapore’s economy could grow at a modest
For the whole 2012, Singapore’s GDP growth slowed to 1.3 percent from 5.2 percent in 2011.
He added that the slowdown would be most acutely felt in the workforce
as the population ages and the citizen workforce shrinks over time. To
deal with this slowdown, companies must restructure and aim for higher
Lim informed the Parliament of his ministry’s two
strategies for achieving quality economic growth. The first is staying
open and flexible to tap global and regional opportunities, and the
second is restructuring the economy so that companies and workers can
achieve higher productivity and sustainability.
According to the
minister, free trade agreements (FTAs) are also another way to help
small and medium enterprises (SMEs) globalise through a large and
comprehensive network of trade agreements with major trading partners
such as China , Australia and India .
He elaborated that
FTAs improve market access for Singaporean companies as they expand
overseas. In 2012, more than 1,700 companies benefited from FTAs, and
this number is expected to increase as Singapore expands FTA
Lim said the Singaporean government sees opportunities
for local companies seeking to tap Asia’s growth and the continuing
economic integration of the region in four sectors, namely
pharmaceuticals, baby products and services, silver industry and
high-end logistics services.-VNA