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Prime Minister's New Year Message 2004



2003 was a difficult year that will linger in our national memory.

Terrorists continued to trouble the world. Suicide bombers attacked Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among other places. In the Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta, five Singaporeans were wounded.

In March, we were hit by SARS. The virus infected 239* people in Singapore. 33 died.

Also in March, the US and its coalition partners attacked Iraq. They removed Saddam Husseinís regime, and later, captured him. But restoring stability to Iraq will take longer.

These troubles in the Middle East, SARS and terrorism took a toll on our economy, and choked off hope of an early recovery. Our unemployment stayed high, with about 100,000 residents out of a job.

Fortunately, the sky is brightening. The US economy is now growing strongly. Japan is at long last picking up, and Europe has started to recover. China continues to grow rapidly, and with it, our trade with China. The global electronics industry, an important driver of our economy, is expected to expand robustly in 2004.

With this strong external environment, the Singapore economy has started to turn around. It grew by 3.7% in the last quarter of 2003. This lifted overall 2003 growth to 0.8%.

In 2003 too, EDB attracted $7.5 billion of fixed asset investment commitments in the manufacturing sector, and investments in the services sector that are worth $1.9 billion in annual total business spending.

In the manufacturing sector, biomedical giants like Schering-Plough and Ciba Vision; semiconductor companies Infineon and ST Microelectronics; electronics MNCs Philips, Matsushita and Hewlett Packard; hard-disk makers Seagate and Hitachi Global Storage; transport company Daimler Chrysler; and chemical company Nagase; all recently announced substantial investments in Singapore.

In the services sector, Singapore-made documentaries are now shown globally through our collaboration with National Geographic and Discovery, and we are venturing into electronic games and animation. Other significant projects include Motorolaís International Trading Centre, IBMís data centre, Katoen Natieís Jurong Island logistics facility and INSEADís expansion.


Source: Singapore Government Press Release 010104




HOME at Sculpture Square  30 Oct - 21 Dec 2003

Back to School with ExxonMobil Campus Concerts  7 - 21 Jan 2004

Prudential Children First! 2004  3 - 21 Mar 2004

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NEW WEB SITES  is the first comprehensive FTA web-site put up by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and is designed to be a one-stop platform on all matters relating to Singapore's FTAs.

Click New Web sites for the rest of the list.

We are now 6118 pages thick and growing.

Public Holidays CHINESE NEW YEAR is the next public holiday period. It falls on 22 & 23 January 2004.


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2 January 2004

Singapore Time