Singapore digest news (11.10-15.10)

Photo by S.Pronin

Singapore GDP up 6.5% in the third quarte

The Singapore economy experienced a growth of 6.5% y-o-y in 3Q21, according to a press release by the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore.
This is a slowdown from the 15.2% growth seen in the previous quarter. 
However, on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, MTI data showed the economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of this year, a reversal from the 1.4 per cent contraction in the preceding quarter.
The retreat in momentum was evident in Singapore's disappointing August non-oil domestic exports, which expanded at an annual pace of 2.7 per cent - the slowest since November last year.
That was due to supply chain disruptions caused by a global shortage of semiconductors, delays in shipping schedules due to port congestion and a shortage of containers, as well as skyrocketing freight costs.


MAS tightens monetary policy

The Monetary Association of Singapore (MAS) tightened monetary policy following their October meeting.
MAS slightly raised the slope of the Singapore Dollar Nominal Effective Exchange Rate (S$NEER) policy band.
This was done to secure price stability over the medium term while paying attention to the risks surrounding economic recovery.
MAS expects core inflation to rise from its current average of below 1% this year to 1% to 2% in 2022.


Singapore forges Green Economy Agreement with Australia

Singapore will be joining Australia in developing a Green Economy Agreement (GEA).
The partnership aims to accelerate both countries’ transition towards a green and sustainable future, as well as create jobs and lower carbon emissions.
Initiatives to promote and facilitate trade and investment will be highlighted by the agreement, with a focus on lowering the regulatory burden on businesses. It also has the goal of removing non-tariff barriers to torrid in environmental goods and services, as well as accelerate the uptake of low emissions green technology.


NTU unveils 15-year sustainability plan supported by $1 billion bond facility

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will launch a $1 billion multicurrency bond facility to support its aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035.
A new NTU Sustainability Office will be established in November to coordinate and drive its sustainability efforts in an all-of-campus way.
Sustainability was included in NTU's common interdisciplinary core curriculum for undergraduates in August, offering 200 electives and a new interdisciplinary minor in topics such as environmental history and environmental sustainability.
A new interdisciplinary doctorate programme in artificial intelligence and sustainability has also been launched to nurture a new generation of tech-savvy scientists to address critical environmental challenges.


CSA launches programmes to address 154% increase in business cyberattacks

Minister of State for Communications and Information Tan Kiat How announced the two initiatives that will help businesses and organisations combat cyberattacks.
The Cybersecurity Toolkits for Enterprises and the new SG Cyber Safe Partnership Programme was launched during the SG Cyber Safe Partnership Programme launch held as part of the Singapore International Cyber Week 2021 at the Marina Bay Sands.
Cyber Security Agency of Singapore's report titled Singapore Cyber Landscape released in June 2021 showed a 154% increase in ransomware cases year on year. These cases affected many small and medium enterprises (SMEs).


Singapore and Japan passports tied for most powerful in the world

Singapore and Japan have the most powerful passports in the world.
Holders of passports from the two countries can travel without a prior visa to 192 destinations.
South Korea and Germany are tied for second place, with such access to 190 countries. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain are in third place, with access to 189 nations.
Meanwhile, Singapore will be allowing vaccinated travellers to travel to nine more countries and return without quarantine.
From Oct 19, vaccinated travellers from Singapore will be able to fly to Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and the US. The scheme will be extended to South Korea from Nov 15.