Singapore will have done well if it grows 2-3 per cent a year over next decade: PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at a dialogue that the search for Singapore's next prime minister is progressing, but reiterated that the next generation of ministers will choose their own leader.
Singapore will have done well if it continues to grow by 2 to 3 per cent every year for the next 10 years.
Singapore will have done well if it continues to grow by 2 to 3 per cent every year for the next 10 years.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore will have done well if it continues to grow by 2 per cent to 3 per cent every year for the next 10 years, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Jan 20).

He said Singapore's economy, which grew by an estimated 1.8 per cent in 2016, is on a "steady path" as a whole.

The government is watching the economy very closely, he added.

Mr Lee was responding to a question by Straits Times editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang about the economy and why it was growing at a slower rate, at a dialogue series organised by the EDB Society and The Straits Times at The Arts House.

The government had initially forecast growth of between 1 and 1.5 per cent for 2016, but a robust fourth quarter and rebound in the manufacturing sector lifted the full-year gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 1.8 per cent.

Mr Lee also noted that Singapore's economy is in a different phase now than when it saw annual growth of 5 per cent to 6 per cent.

Even as he cited 2 per cent to 3 per cent growth as a good target in the long term, he said the government will stimulate the economy if it has to.