Singapore economy 'second to Qatar'

City-state's record economic growth attributed to its manufacturing, finance and tourism sectors.

    The Singapore dollar climbed more than 8 per cent against the US currency in 2010 [EPA] 

    Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore prime minister, has announced a record 14.7 per cent growth in the country's economy in 2010, making it the second fastest growing economy in the world, behind Qatar.

    Gross domestic product expanded 12.5 per cent in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier, Lee said in a statement on Friday.

    Singapore's three key sectors, manufacturing, finance and tourism, all flourished this year as the global economy bounced back from an economic downturn triggered by the financial crisis of 2008.

    Singapore seeks to become one of Asia's top gambling and shopping destinations and the opening of the city-state's first two casino resorts this year attracted record numbers of tourists.

    Lee said that the result showed a dramatic recovery from the negative growth of 2009.

    He said that growth momentum in Asia is strong while the US economy remains weak and Europe faces a sovereign debt crisis in several countries.

    "The outlook for the world economy is mixed," Lee said. "Hopefully, Asia will continue to do well despite the weakness in developed countries."

    But he cautioned that the growth figure was a one-off, due to special circumstances.

    He also credited investment in education and support for innovation for driving the economic expansion.

    The government forecasts a GDP growth of between four and six per cent next year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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