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17 August 2009

Singapore PM sees positive signs for economy

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Singapore has seen the worst of the current recession and although a subdued recovery is expected for the global economy, the country can still grow by sharpening its skills and enlarging its market share, the city-state’s prime minister was quoted by television broadcaster Channel News Asia as saying Sunday.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the first hint of black clouds on the economy appeared two years ago. But now the eye of the storm has passed and some have even mentioned green shoots in the economy.

Lee noted that Singapore is already seeing positive signs, with local companies expanding and new business sectors - such as in the area of interactive digital media - growing in Singapore.

With Asia poised as a key growth engine, Lee said multi-national companies continue to invest in Singapore, while homegrown companies with strong capabilities - like water treatment firm Hyflux - are expanding overseas, at times in rough business environments.

Regarding Singapore's economy, Lee said a 6.5 percent contraction recorded in the first half of the year was not as bad as initially feared. The government has kept to its forecast that the economy will shrink between 4 and 6 percent for the whole of 2009.


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