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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        18  February 2011

Singapore growth of 4-6 percent for 2011

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The Singapore economy grew by 14.5 percent in 2010, reversing the decline of 0.8 percent the year before.

Growth for 2011 says the Trade and Industry Ministry will remain at 4 to 6 percent.

Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 12.0 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2010, with a 10.5 per cent improvement in the previous quarter.

On a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter annualised basis, the economy grew by 3.9 per cent, an upturn from the contraction of 16.7 per cent in the preceding quarter.

A statement from the ministry said the economy expanded by 14.5 percent in 2010, driven largely by the manufacturing sector.

Due to a surge in electronics and biomedical manufacturing output, the manufacturing sector rebounded by 29.7 percent in 2010 following a 4.2 percent contraction in 2009.

Growth in the construction sector continued in 2010 at a more modest pace of 6.1 percent compared to 17.1 percent in 2009.

The growth outlook for Singapore remains positive in 2011 with the continuing recovery of the global economy and the steady pace of growth in the advanced economies which is expected to lend support to Singapore’s manufacturing activities.

The Ministry said it expects the Singapore economy to grow by 4 to 6 percent in 2011 although the inflation forecast has been revised to 3 to 4 percent from 2 to 3 percent.

Inflation is also expected to rise further to 5.0 to 6.0 percent in the first few months of this year before moderating in the second half of the year.

February 3,2011
Singapore to help residents

January 18,2011
Singapore fertility falls to record low

January 5, 2011
Singapore's income gap a worry

December  8, 2010
Singapore's 2011 growth slows

The Singapore government is undertaking another review of the Baby Bonus scheme which hopes to encourage married couples to have more children by defraying part of the financial costs.

A survey with some 3,000 beneficiaries is in the works. The move comes at a time when Singapore's fertility rate is at a record low.

Observers have said that more comprehensive provisions should be made, to reverse the declining trend.

Under the Baby Bonus scheme, parents are given a cash gift of up to S$4,000 each for the first and second child and S$6,000 each for the third and fourth child.

The government also gives a dollar-for-dollar match when parents contribute to their child's Children Development Account (CDA). The savings will be matched up to the cap of S$6,000 each for the first and second child, S$12,000 each for the third and fourth child and S$18,000 each for the fifth and subsequent child. Parents can tap on the scheme when they register for their child's birth at hospitals and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

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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