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Singapore's next big challenge is already here

Daniel Moss for Bloomberg
Daniel Moss for Bloomberg8/12/2022 10:53 AM GMT+08  • 5 min read
Singapore's next big challenge is already here
Singapore's central business district (CBD). Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore
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To listen to Singapore’s leader, the Bank of England (BOE) nailed it. The UK central bank’s warning of a tough new era that sent shockwaves through the world of monetary economics resonated in the city-state. The tiny republic that’s staked its survival on the ebbs and flows of global capitalism is girding for a protracted period of slacker growth and a drawn-out fight against inflation.

Singaporeans initially enjoyed robust growth coming out of Covid, but need to adjust to a less-favourable financial and strategic environment. That was the dour message from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the eve of Tuesday’s celebrations marking the nation’s 57th birthday. “The world is not likely to return anytime soon to the low inflation levels and interest rates that we have enjoyed in recent decades,” Lee said.

Singapore had its share of fumbles, but it looks good now, especially when compared to the debacle of Hong Kong’s pandemic response. Even so, its next challenge is here.

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