Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, Sept 8, 2016

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers the National Day Rally 2016 speech at Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central on Aug 21, 2016.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers the National Day Rally 2016 speech at Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central on Aug 21, 2016.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Thursday, Sept 8, and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

Dialogue to engage Singaporeans on views on National Day Rally

The Government feedback unit Reach will be co-organising a dialogue in Mandarin with Lianhe Zaobao to engage Singaporeans on their views on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally (NDR) address.

This dialogue session is one of the engagement platforms in Reach’s NDR 2016 Feedback Exercise. The session will be chaired by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office & Ministry of Manpower and Reach Chairman. It will be held at 6.30pm at the River Room, Asian Civilisations Museum.  

East Asia Summit and Asean-India Summit to be held


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is expected to introduce China’s policy of sticking to economic development and political security at the East Asia Summit on Sept 8, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

The East Asia Summit and Asean-India Summit will take place in Vietianne on Thursday (Sept 8), the final day of regional meetings hosted by Asean in the Laotian capital.  

The East Asia Summit involves 18 leaders from Asean,  China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is expected to introduce China’s policy of sticking to economic development and political security, said Deputy Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin.  

Meantime, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Asean-India Summit. India has sharpened its focus on South-east Asia in recent times, with Mr Modi renaming India’s policy towards the region from "Look East" to "Act East".

European Central Bank to announce policy decision and interest rates


The headquarters of the European Central Bank. PHOTO: AFP

The European Central Bank will probably keep its interest rates steady when it announces its policy decision on Thursday (Sept 8), with economists expecting it to respond to pressure for further easing by announcing an extension to its asset purchase programme by year-end.

ECB chief Mario Draghi will probably wait for the US Fed ’s rate decision before making changes. Better-than-expected data in the past two months has taken pressure off ECB for further rate cuts. 

China's export data to be announced


A man rides a vehicle past container boxes at a port in Shanghai, China. PHOTO: REUTERS

Even as its export share climbs globally, manufacturing’s slice of China’s economy is waning as services and consumption emerge as the new growth drivers.

For the global economy, a slide in China’s exports this year isn’t proving any respite as an even sharper slump in its imports erodes a pillar of demand.  

Those trends are likely to be replicated in August, as data due on Thursday (Sept 8) may show. Exports are estimated to fall 4 per cent from a year earlier and imports are seen dropping 5.4 per cent, leaving a trade surplus of US$58.85 billion (S$79.67 billion), economists say.