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Road to recovery for S’pore’s economy still a long way to go, says Chan Chun Sing

"The path to recovery is expected to be slow and uneven across economies, with many economies not likely to return to pre-Covid levels until end-2021"

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Singapore – Minister for Trade and Industry (MTI) Chan Chun Sing announced on Monday (Nov 23) that the country is currently at a critical juncture on the road to economic recovery, and that they still had a long way to go on the journey.

“The path to recovery is expected to be slow and uneven across economies, with many economies not likely to return to pre-Covid levels until end-2021,” noted the MTI on Monday through a press release indicating the forecasted GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth in 2020 and 2021.

The MTI announced they were once again revising forecasts for Singapore’s growth outlook for 2020 due to 5.8 per cent contraction of the GDP in Q3 on a year-on-year basis. The revised forecast now states that the economy is expected to shrink between 6 and 6.5 per cent, compared to the previous estimate of between 5 and 7 per cent.

Furthermore, the report revealed for the first time the economic forecast for 2021. “The Singapore economy is projected to grow by 4 to 6 per cent in 2021,” said the MTI. However, it added that “the recovery of the Singapore economy in the year ahead is expected to be gradual, and will depend to a large extent on how the global economy performs and whether Singapore is able to continue to keep the domestic Covid-19 situation under control.”

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Mr Chan noted in his statement on Monday that the latest forecasts show the country is “on the right path, slowly but surely.” Although the situation has improved, “there is still much work to be done.”

He mentioned in a Facebook post that the speed of economic recovery “and whether we have a brighter future ahead of us” would depend on the country’s ability to keep the Covid-19 infection under control and adapt to a Covid-world.

“We have done well and must continue to keep up the strong momentum. But we must not be complacent. Many countries around the world have seen their numbers spike again, even those who had seen some success in controlling the situation earlier,” said Mr Chan.

He highlighted in his post that borders would be opened in a safe and sustainable manner, balancing health considerations with economic activities. “We will continue to attract top companies to Singapore, particularly in new growth areas.”

Moving forward, Mr Chan pointed out a more sustainable and targeted approach would be needed when it comes to government-provided support. The government’s support cannot carry on in the same manner indefinitely, said Mr Chan. “I am glad many of our business leaders and workers have heeded our call to transform and pivot to new growth areas. We know that this has not been easy,” he added.

“We are at a critical juncture in our economic recovery. We have done well so far because of the strong partnership and trust between the government and its many stakeholders.”

Read related: Singapore’s economy shrinks at slower pace as virus curbs eased

Singapore’s economy shrinks at slower pace as virus curbs eased

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