Despite the current global economic uncertainties, Singapore is "not doing badly," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his New Year message. He also expressed his confidence that the Republic will successfully triumph through the economic challenges in 2017.
He also mentioned swimmer Joseph Schooling, para-swimmers Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh and other upstanding Singaporeans who have brought fame to the nation.
"The year ahead may look uncertain, but whatever the challenges, I am confident we will pull through. With this enduring spirit, we will make Singapore a better and happier home for ourselves and for our next generation," he added.
Lee further revealed that the country's economy grew by 1 percent in 2016 but the "government is keeping a close watch on the labor market as it has shown signs of weakening." Singapore's trade wing is facing tough times over the past two years following a slash in oil prices and economic slowdown in China. This has in turn affected the engineering industry too. "While the labor market has eased, unemployment remains low and we are still creating new jobs. I know many employers and workers are concerned, but rest assured the government is watching this closely," Lee said in a pre-recorded message. "The Committee on the Future Economy is working on longer term strategies for growth, and will publish its recommendations in a few weeks' time," he added.
The Prime Minister also mentioned about the country's bilateral ties with its neighbors, which is likely to bring in more prospects. Touching upon the housing and financial sector, he said, "At the same time, we are making Singapore a City for All Ages. 26,000 households collected keys to their new or resale HDB flats and enjoyed generous housing subsidies."
He further concluded the New Year message on an emotional note, "The Singapore story is the story of ordinary Singaporeans doing extraordinary things together. It is your story, my story, and the stories of everyone around us. It is the story of one united people, regardless of race, language, and religion, carving out our place in the sun."