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How Singapore can resolve economic barriers, uncertainties: MTI

It must invest in open trade, manage inflation, and reach climate goals.

As the economy faces external headwinds, Minister of Trade and Industry Alvin Tan said Singapore should continue its investment in global trade, decisively oversee inflation, and achieve its goals to address the climate crisis.

In a keynote address at the Maybank’s Invest ASEAN conference, Tan warned that amidst the Russia-Ukraine unrest, growth in manufacturing and financial services could slow down. 

The pullback in external demand and business and financial market sentiment may also affect these sectors, which are the key pillars during the pandemic. He reiterated their outlook that the economy will likely grow by 3% to 5%. 

It may be offset by relaxing border rules at the end of March but inflation remains and the COVID-19 pandemic “may flare again” in the coming winter months and vaccine protection could wane.

To face these obstacles, Tan advised that the country must trade and explore new agreements with other countries worldwide.

“In ASEAN, RCEP represents an important milestone for us. It sends a strong signal to the world that ASEAN remains committed to free and open trade as we move towards becoming the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2030,” he said.

He also noted that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has already been implementing policies to manage rising prices.

“MAS has been pre-emptive in tightening monetary policy, having embarked on the process since October last year. The cumulative effects of three rounds of tightening will help to slow inflation momentum,” said Tan.

As for climate change plans, Tan said Singapore is already speeding up its 2030 goals through budget allocation and advancing green financing standards.

“This year’s Budget laid out clearly how this will be a priority for us moving forward. MAS is also playing a role in developing global and regional taxonomies and green standards, as well as building Singapore as a green finance hub,” he said.

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