Economic Affairs

Two forward-looking Budgets with a difference

Singapore raised taxes, while Hong Kong did not. Without an ah ye (grandfather) to lean on, sovereign Singapore has to pay its own way in the world, such as in defence and foreign affairs.

Ker Sin Tze

Singapore unveiled its Budget on Feb 19, and Hong Kong tabled its Budget for debate on Feb 28.

Their economies are similar in terms of size, growth rate and structure. Both economies have gross domestic product (GDP) of about US$300 billion (S$396 billion), and growth rates are 3.6 per cent for Singapore and 3.8 per cent for Hong Kong for the financial year 2017-18 (FY 2017). The services industry accounts for 70 per cent of GDP in both cities.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2018, with the headline 'Two forward-looking Budgets with a difference'. Subscribe