PM Lee: Singapore’s economy on a steady path
Singapore’s economy is on a steady path and is at a steady level, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the joint forum organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and The Straits Times.
In response to questions and concerns about the rate of growth of Singapore’s GDP Mr Lee said, “1.8 per cent last year was less than what we hoped for, but more than what we expected,” he said. “This year, we hope the momentum will improve. There’s some chance of that. In the fourth quarter last year, things sped up and if it continues this year, it will be a good thing.”
PM Lee added that in the longer term, Singapore will have to make sure that there has to be a steady improvement in the standards of Singapore, and that the economy can continue to provide for the people.
On the concerns about the unemployment situation, PM Lee said, “My growth rate is constrained by how many people I have… If I have more workers, more students coming out who are well-trained, well-educated, I can grow faster. That is the constraint rather than ‘I have so many people coming out, where are the jobs to be found’”.
PM Lee also pointed out that Singapore still has to maintain its competitiveness despite wage levels that are lower in the surrounding region. “We are more expensive than our neighbours, but overall, people find it worthwhile to be in Singapore… It’s partly the quality of the individual… but also the quality of the overall business environment in Singapore.”
Singapore’s clean, efficient business environment is not so easy to replicate and that is an advantage that Singapore enjoys, added PM Lee.
Read excerpts from the dialogue here
Photo credit: PM Lee Hsien Loong's Facebook