2010 will be record growth year for Singapore: PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, commenting on Singapore’s latest GDP growth estimates and its 2010 outlook, said the country is on a “firm path” towards a record year.

Earlier Wednesday the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) upgraded Singapore’s 2010 GDP growth forecast to a blistering 13 to 15 percent, outstripping estimates for China.

The revision followed the 16.9 percent year-on-year GDP growth in the first quarter while second-quarter expansion is estimated at 19.3 percent.

Mr Lee, speaking to reporters at the end of an official visit to the US, attributed the rebound mainly to the success of the two integrated resorts and a sharp increase in pharmaceutical output.

Mr Lee also said Singapore should go into double-digit growth this year. But he tempered sentiments, saying that this is an exceptional year.

“It’s a good result and we should be happy. But at the same time we should understand that it doesn’t mean that next year you are going to get this, and the year after that you will get this. This is a rebound,” he said.

“We are on a firm path upwards. Now we must make the most of this opportunity to implement the restructuring, the upgrading, the productivity improvement which we have been pursuing and talked about in the Budget.

“Because unless you get these longer term structural changes, we are not going to be able to sustain growth in the future years. And when we say ‘sustain growth’, we don’t mean 9, 10 percent or 11 percent in future years but 3, 4, 5 percent steadily for another 10 years,” added Mr Lee.

Mr Lee was also asked about his thoughts on issues that may crop up at the next General Election due by 2012.

But he remained tight lipped.

“No, it’s just a great mystery! (laughter). I think it’s too early to say. I mean we are just midway through 2010, with a record economy. I have not decided when the election will be.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 14 Jul 2010

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