Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed his People's Action Party's 2017 convention on Sunday. Here are some of the key highlights from his speech:
Lee expects Singapore growth to exceed expectations this year by recording economic growth above 3 percent. After surging to nearly 4.5 percent in 2013, economic growth dipped below 2 percent in 2015-16, hurt by an unfavorable world economy.
Lee said he expected government spending on healthcare, infrastructure, and other social services to keep rising. It is a matter of time before taxes will be raised in Singapore, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, adding that the government will explain "well before the time comes" what the money will be used for.
Lee said right now Singapore has good relations with the United States and China, as well as its immediate neighbours Indonesia and Malaysia. However, he noted that "there will always be ups and downs in Singapore's relations with other countries, big and small.
Government spending on healthcare had reached S$10 billion in 2016, and this amount will rise as the population ages, Lee said in reference to Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's Budget speech in February.
Despite a rail collision last week on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit network that injured over 30 people, Lee said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan retained his "full support and confidence."