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Singapore  Roundup: Sizzling & Powering Ahead

With an economic growth rate of 7-8% for the year 2007, the pace has been hot indeed.
However with a lower growth being forecasted for the next year, plans are well under way to diversify the economy further, so as to weather the over reliance on any one sector of the economy. However, the construction, marine / oil rig building and bio medical sector, are expected to lead the charge right through 2008, and perhaps beyond ! For the present, unemployment is at an all time low  of  1.7% , for almost a decade.   In the 3rd quarter, 57,600 jobs were added. For the year, to date, 171,500 jobs were added. On the flip side, inflation & the reliance on guest workers, is expected to rise.
The search to attract more value added, high tech companies also seem to be bearing tangible results : Form Factor- producing test boards for the wafer- test houses, has set up in Singapore, its  first shop outside of the USA.  Renewable  Energy Corp.  (REC -Norway) is to pump a massive S$6.3billion to build the world’s  largest plant to churn out  solar energy products. This will fuel Singapore’s quest to become a major player in the global market for solar and other forms of  clean energy .
More agreements to boost small and medium size enterprised (SME) are being signed with the current No# 1 growth engine – China  !  The agreements would help to build bridges ( literal and otherwise ) as well as facilitate partnerships between Chinese and local firms. Singapore businesses are also actively involved in a number of a economic zones.    Now Tianjin  has appeared on the radar screens of companies such as  PSA,
Keppel Group, Yanlord and Tiong Seng. Tianjin has been dubbed as the next Shanghai,
as well as north China’s growth engine. Hence not surprising that local business have pumped in more that US$ 1.4 billion into several projects.
About 14 businessmen accompanied  President S.R. Nathan to the Maldives. A number of opportunites for business, especially in the education sector, has been identified. There
are no universities or medical colleges presently in the Maldives; hence people development, an area Singapore excels in, is a priority in developing the economy.

For motor racing fans, the F1- Formula 1’s first  world night race will take place on Sept.28, next year. This means, to date, Singapore has met all the requirements to organize the race. According to a Star Sports racing commentator, Singapore will become one ot the sport’s innovators, and become something  of an icon.

However vehicle drivers in Singapore will start to pay heftier charges while using certain
Roads, under the (Electronic Road Pricing System ), come this Nov. 5th. Infact charges have crept up from a low of 50 cents to a dollar, to about $5, on certain roads.

With the epoch arrival of the massive A380 AirBus, tickets has been selling out real fast.
Again SIA will reap handsomely, as the A380 fever lingers on and the wallets …burn .

The race in on : to win the hosting rights of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010. Technology is the key, as Singapore seems to be going all out on the technology front, to wow and win the hosting. Chances appear to be good.

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