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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                2  August 2011

Singapore continues economic policy

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has assured investors that Singapore will not be changing its economic direction.

Speaking at the Economic Development Board's 50th anniversary dinner, Mr. Lee said investors have been asking if Singapore will change direction after the recent general election.

Mr. Lee said the country's fundamental constraints remain and it needs to stay connected to the world to survive.

Addressing top CEOs and the business community, Prime Minister Lee said Singapore has overcome the odds and transformed its economy in the past 50 years, taking it from Third World to First.

Today the GDP per capita income is almost S$60,000, or 13 times that of 1961 in real terms.

For the next 50 years, Mr. Lee said the government would continue to take a long-term, rational perspective, remain an international hub, and be open to global investments and talent.

It will also maintain sound economic policies that promote growth and improve the lives of citizens.

Mr Lee said: "I think investors are reassured to hear this message, because we take seriously what we say and what we commit to. But they will also wait to see what we actually do.

"And if over time, they find that we have not become as welcome as before, or if our business environment has become less favourable, then of course there will be consequences for Singapore."

He said that is why the population has to support consistent and rational policies that create jobs and wealth.

The environment for global businesses must also keep improving.

Mr Lee explained that no one could have foreseen that Singapore would have done so well in the past half century. He added it was hard to predict what would happen in the next 50 years.

He said the ideal scenario would be a world at peace, globalisation continuing apace and countries creating prosperity, benefiting many people.

Hence the need to contemplate less benign possibilities with globalisation slowing or worse, reversing course, unforeseen shocks like an energy crisis and strategic rivalries and political upheavals.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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