Singapore Update: December 10, 2018

Singapore Update | December 10, 2018 

Authors: Lilibeth Almonte-Arbez, Bryan Yeoh
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Next PM front-runner Heng Swee Keat appointed as first assistant secretary-general

On November 23, the People’s Action party, Singapore’s ruling party, appointed finance minister Heng Swee Keat as first assistant secretary-general setting him on course to be Singapore’s next leader. Mr. Heng prevailed over two other candidates, education minister Ong Ye Kung and trade and industry minister Chan Chun Sing, who has been named PAP’s second assistant secretary-general. Prior to his stint as Finance Minister, Mr. Heng held significant leadership positions and served as Minister of Education (2011 to 2015), Managing Director for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (2005 to 2011), Principal Private Secretary to the then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew (1997 to 2000). He also served in the Singapore Police Force. Mr. Heng could become Singapore’s new prime minister as soon as next year since Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, son of Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew, had earlier suggested that general elections could be held in 2019, more than a year before his term is set to end. Mr. Lee is expected to announce cabinet changes soon. Change in Singapore’s leadership comes at a time when the strategic balance in the region is shifting with the US-China trade war and when bilateral ties with Malaysia are being tested over water supply pricing and airspace and maritime boundary issues. Malaysia has filed two protests. One over Singapore's publication of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and ILS Approach Procedures for Seletar Airport on Dec 1, citing the impact of the Seletar Airport flight path on developments and shipping operations in Pasir Gudang. Malaysia lodged another protest on outstanding Singapore-Malaysia maritime boundary delimitations, including the new Johore Bahru Port Limits.

Singapore Economy Grows 2.2 Percent in Q3; Revises 2018 Growth Forecast to 3.0 to 3.5 Percent

Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced that Singapore’s economy grew by 2.2 percent in the third quarter, slowing from the second quarter’s 4.1 percent growth. Growth moderation across most sectors contributed to the slower growth pace. The economy’s performance in the third quarter was below MTI’s estimate of 2.6 percent and analysts who predicted 2.4 percent. The average of Singapore’s first three quarters is 3.6 percent, 0.1 percent above the 2.5 to 3.5 percent prediction by the Ministry. MTI expects that Singapore’s growth in the fourth quarter to moderate but remain firm supported by its robust service sectors. As a result, the Ministry has revised its 2018 growth forecast to 3.0 to 3.5 percent from 2.5 to 3.5 percent.

Looking ahead towards 2019, MTI predicts that Singapore’s economy will grow between 1.5 to 3.5 percent. MTI’s conservative prediction is due to the possibility of a decline in global investment and consumption spending because of the risk of further escalation of trade conflicts between the U.S. and its key trading partners. In addition, the Ministry also attributes the slowdown to a faster-than-expected tightening of global financial conditions that could lead to financial vulnerabilities in some of the region’s emerging economies. As a result, lower investment appetite and reduced consumption in those economies may cause spillover effects on other economies in the region. The Ministry expects slower growth in the manufacturing sector and the outward-oriented services sector due to external headwinds and growth moderation in advanced and regional economies.

Singapore consults on measures to reduce sugar intake

Singapore’s Ministry of Health (“MOH”) and the Health Promotion Board (“HPB”) seeks views on possible measures to reduce Singaporeans’ sugar intake from pre-packaged sugar-sweetened beverages (“SSBs”). Four possible measures include mandatory front-of-pack nutrition label, advertising regulations, excise duty on manufacturers and importers of pre-packaged SSBs, and a nationwide ban on the sale of higher sugar pre-packaged drinks. For more detailed information on the proposed measures, the Public Consultation Paper on Possible Measures for Pre-Packaged SSBs is available at https://www.reach.gov.sg/sugarydrinks. The consultation period is open from December 4, 2018 to January 25,2019. Part of Singapore’s war on diabetes, sugar reduction also reduces obesity, a risk factor for diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, and some cancers. Experts the Straits Times spoke to all agree that a ban would be the most effective in reducing sugar intake but would also be the least acceptable politically. However, their views differ on regulating sugar in general not just pre-packaged sugar-sweetened drinks. Professor Teo Yik Ying, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Professor Eric Finkelstein of the Duke-NUS Medical School agree that packaged fruit juices, even those with no added sugar, should not be exempt. Prof Finkelstein added that sugar is sugar and the narrower the tax, the less effective it is because people could have other high-calorie drinks as substitutes. Ms Gladys Wong, a senior principal dietitian at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital opines that there must be a fair way to tax the freshly prepared beverage outlets, not just the pre-packaged drinks.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

The Council seeks members’ views on Singapore’s Possible Measures for Pre-Packaged Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs). On December 4, Singapore’s Ministry of Health (“MOH”) and the Health Promotion Board (“HPB”) opened public consultation on four possible measures including mandatory front-of-pack nutrition label, advertising regulations, excise duty on manufacturers and importers of pre-packaged SSBs, and a nationwide ban on the sale of higher sugar pre-packaged drinks. A PDF of the Public Consultation Paper on Possible Measures for Pre-Packaged SSBs may be found https://www.reach.gov.sg/sugarydrinks. While measures are proposed to lower sugar intake and achieve public health objectives, they impact companies who deal with SSBs and may have implications for sugar in general. Should you wish your comments to be included in the Council’s submission, please email inputs to Ms. Sunita Kapoor at skapoor@usasean.org on or before January 9, 2019. Public feedback may be sent to sugary_drinks@hpb.gov.sg. Public consultation closes on January 25, 2019.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
Singapore, Malaysia maritime dispute: A timeline
Singapore welcomes pause in US-China trade war, says DPM Teo
Malaysia sends 2 protest notes to Singapore over airspace and maritime disputes

National Affairs
Political experience, likeable character put Heng Swee Keat in good stead to be PM: Analysts
MUIS gets new chief, Esa Masood, from 2019
Singapore must get used to a 'more uncomfortable world': PM Lee
4G ministers will start discussions with S'poreans next year: Heng
Singapore must get its politics right or the people will suffer: Shanmugam
PM Lee to visit Argentina and attend G20 Summit
Singapore government extends workers’ rights with amendment bill
Singapore unveils younger, more diverse leadership team
Singapore ruling party picks candidate for next PM

Banking
Singapore shares rise as banks, tech stocks climb

Customs
Singapore looks forward to early ratification of EU-Singapore FTA: Halimah Yacob
Greater market access, lower tariffs for Singapore companies when CPTPP enters into force

Defense & Security
Navy Exercise Highlights Malaysia-Singapore Military Ties
India, Singapore bolster intel sharing in wake of bilateral naval exercise

Economics
Singapore sprouts innovation centres
Financial resilience key as greater uncertainty looms: Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat
Singapore and Argentina to boost economic ties
Incomes in Singapore up, with median salary rising above S$4,400: MOM report
Singapore's core inflation edges up to 1.9% year-on-year in October
Singapore economy grew 2.2% in Q3, less than expected; full-year growth forecast at 3% to 3.5%

Energy
The sharing economy for energy is coming to Singapore
Incentives available to help green buildings
Senoko Energy hits over 1,000 signups in first phase launch of open electricity market
Singapore to spend $10M on new urban technology
Singapore, US pledge to enhance ties in energy, cyber security

Financial Services
Payment Services Bill introduced in Parliament
Singapore Proposes New Delisting Rules to Protect Minority Interests

Health & Life Sciences
Singapore’s approach to war on diabetes 'generally in right direction': Health Minister Gan Kim Yong
MOH wants public consultation on whether Singapore should ban or tax high-sugar drinks

ICT
High Court orders Internet service providers to block access to TV box apps
Improve staff awareness of cybersecurity, better incident response proposed as SingHealth COI ends
State Courts plugs electronic loophole that allowed access to case files
EDB eyes investments in tech, ICT, healthcare
Vulnerabilities, missed opportunities and 16 recommendations: COI hearings on SingHealth cyber attack wrap up
Industry group here working on code for digital token sector
Machine learning being used to detect fraud
IMDA geo-blocks two Malaysian news websites in Singapore for refusing to take down “fake news”
Scam cases involving fraudulent subscription of mobile lines up 7 times
Indian business leaders seek AI collaboration with Singapore

Infrastructure
Singapore to ban discharge of 'wash water' at top ship refuelling port
SilkAir to transfer 17 routes to Scoot ahead of merger with Singapore Airlines
Singapore, Jiangsu to deepen economic partnership, advance BRI with signing of 13 MOUs
Singapore, US renew agreement on infrastructure collaboration

Manufacturing
Singapore's electronics manufacturing sector contracts in November
Singapore factory output in October beats forecasts with 4.3% rise

Travel & Tourism
Belitung island: 5 reasons it should be your next beach holiday destination
Changi Airport saw 4.3% more passengers in October
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Singapore, Malaysia maritime dispute: A timeline Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Singapore and its northern neighbour Malaysia are embroiled in a maritime dispute after the two countries traded conflicting views over the issue.

Singapore welcomes pause in US-China trade war, says DPM Teo The Straits Times 6th Dec 2018
Singapore welcomes the pause in the trade war between the United States and China as the spat did not benefit anyone, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in an interview with television news outlet France 24 on Wednesday (Dec 5).

Malaysia sends 2 protest notes to Singapore over airspace and maritime disputes Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
The Malaysian government said on Wednesday (Dec 5) that it has sent two protest notes to Singapore pertaining to the airspace and maritime boundary delimitation issues currently facing both countries. The notes were communicated through the Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia, according to a press release from Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first note pertains to Singapore's publication of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and ILS Approach Procedures for Seletar Airport on Dec 1. The second protest note pertains to the outstanding maritime boundary delimitation between Malaysia and Singapore, including the new Johore Bahru Port Limits and the recent incidents in relation to it, the ministry said.

National Affairs

Political experience, likeable character put Heng Swee Keat in good stead to be PM: Analysts Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's extensive political experience and “likeable character” will stand him in good stead to lead Singapore, analysts and political watchers Channel NewsAsia spoke to said on Friday (Nov 23).

MUIS gets new chief, Esa Masood, from 2019 Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
he Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) will have a new senior management team from next year, with Mr Esa Masood replacing retiring chief executive Abdul Razak Maricar.

Singapore must get used to a 'more uncomfortable world': PM Lee Channel NewsAsia 4th Dec 2018
And as tensions between super powers grow, Singapore “must be on its toes” and be prepared to react accordingly, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Saturday (Dec 1). 

4G ministers will start discussions with S'poreans next year: Heng The Straits Times 4th Dec 2018
The fourth-generation (4G) ministers will launch their planned series of discussions with Singaporeans after next year's Budget, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. These sessions with different groups of people will build on the Our Singapore Conversation national feedback drive he spearheaded in 2013, said Mr Heng.

Singapore must get its politics right or the people will suffer: Shanmugam TODAYonline 27th Nov 2018
It is not enough to have brilliant and capable individuals in power, Singapore must also get its politics right or the people will suffer, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam on Sunday (Nov 25).

PM Lee to visit Argentina and attend G20 Summit Channel NewsAsia 27th Nov 2018
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make his first working visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Wednesday (Nov 28) in conjunction with the 13th G20 Leaders’ Summit, at the invitation of Argentine President Mauricio Macri, said the Prime Minister’s Office in a statement.

Singapore government extends workers’ rights with amendment bill Employee Benefits 27th Nov 2018
The Singapore government’s Employment (Amendment) Bill 2018 has been passed in parliament after a second reading by Josephine Teo, minister for manpower, on 20 November 2018.

Singapore unveils younger, more diverse leadership team South China Morning Post 26th Nov 2018
On Friday, Singapore’s People’s Action Party formally unveiled a slate of leaders who will drive its campaign for the next general election, to be held before April 2021. The 35th Central Executive Committee, elected after a biennial party vote on November 11, is younger and more diverse than its previous incarnation.

Singapore ruling party picks candidate for next PM Financial Times 23rd Nov 2018
Singapore’s ruling party has picked finance minister Heng Swee Keat as its de facto candidate to be the city state’s next prime minister, ending a fraught process to choose Lee Hsien Loong’s successor. The People’s Action party on Friday appointed Mr Heng as first assistant secretary-general, which sets him on course to be Singapore’s next leader. Mr Lee has pledged to step down in the near future. The finance minister prevailed over two other candidates, education minister Ong Ye Kung and trade and industry minister Chan Chun Sing, who has been named PAP’s second assistant secretary-general.

Banking

Singapore shares rise as banks, tech stocks climb Nikkei Asian Review 26th Nov 2018
KUALA LUMPUR (Nikkei Markets) -- Singapore shares rose Monday as finance and tech stocks climbed, while Malaysian stocks also edged higher thanks to gain in oil prices amid broader optimism ahead of the G20 summit later this week. The Straits Times Index ended 1.3% higher at 3093.38. In Singapore, Venture Corp. surged 5.2% and United Overseas Bank rose 2.5%. The FBM KLCI meanwhile closed 0.4% up at 1701.99. CIMB Group Holdings climbed 0.9% to lead banks higher in Malaysia. Trading in both markets remained thin.

Customs

Singapore looks forward to early ratification of EU-Singapore FTA: Halimah Yacob Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Singapore looks forward to the early ratification of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) by the European Parliament, so that both sides can take advantage of the benefits soon, said President Halimah Yacob on Thursday (Nov 22; Friday, Singapore time) during her state visit to the Netherlands.

Greater market access, lower tariffs for Singapore companies when CPTPP enters into force Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Singapore companies can look forward to reduced tariffs and greater market access after the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) comes into force on Dec 30 this year.

Defense & Security

Navy Exercise Highlights Malaysia-Singapore Military Ties The Diplomat 4th Dec 2018
Over the past week, Malaysia and Singapore held the latest iteration of their bilateral maritime exercise. The interaction cast light on the ongoing defense collaboration underway between the two Southeast Asian neighbors despite lingering challenges in the bilateral relationship.

India, Singapore bolster intel sharing in wake of bilateral naval exercise Defense News 26th Nov 2018
India and Singapore will bolster intelligence and information sharing efforts as part of a bilateral agreement signed Nov. 20 during a joint naval exercise.

Economics

Singapore sprouts innovation centres The Business Times 6th Dec 2018
Putting on your thinking cap? Some professionals can now do so in dedicated "innovation centres", which are springing up islandwide. At least 25 such facilities have opened since last year, with the help of the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Financial resilience key as greater uncertainty looms: Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
One key issue discussed among finance ministers at the G20 Leaders' Summit was how to build a more resilient financial system at a national, regional and global level, Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said at the end of the two-day event in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday (Dec 2).

Singapore and Argentina to boost economic ties Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Singapore and Argentina will work to boost economic ties, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met Argentine President Mauricio Macri at the Olivos Presidential Residence in Buenos Aires on Thursday (Nov 29).

Incomes in Singapore up, with median salary rising above S$4,400: MOM report Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Workers in Singapore saw their wages grow this year, with the median income rising above S$4,400, according to data released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday (Nov 29).

Singapore's core inflation edges up to 1.9% year-on-year in October Channel NewsAsia 27th Nov 2018
Singapore's core inflation edged up to 1.9 per cent year-on-year in October from 1.8 per cent the previous month, according to the latest figures released on Friday (Nov 23).

Singapore economy grew 2.2% in Q3, less than expected; full-year growth forecast at 3% to 3.5% The Straits Times 22nd Nov 2018
Singapore's economy grew by 2.2 per cent year on year in the third quarter, slowing from the 4.1 per cent growth in the previous quarter and performing below the Government's initial estimate and market expectations.

Energy

The sharing economy for energy is coming to Singapore Eco Business 28th Nov 2018
A local start-up is on the way to bringing peer-to-peer energy trading to Singapore, which its founder says will grow the renewable energy market in the sun-drenched island nation.

Incentives available to help green buildings Today Online 21st Nov 2018
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) engages the industry periodically to review and enhance the green buildings schemes.

Senoko Energy hits over 1,000 signups in first phase launch of open electricity market Asian Power 21st Nov 2018
They are offering two fixed price plans for 24 and 12 months.

Singapore to spend $10M on new urban technology ZDNet 18th Nov 2018
Singapore government has earmarked S$14 million (US$10.19 million) over three years to fund the development of smart estates and modern technology, such as energy efficient applications.

Singapore, US pledge to enhance ties in energy, cyber security The Straits Times 17th Nov 2018
Singapore and the United States are exploring new turf in their relationship as they reach beyond the traditional domains of defense and trade to grasp opportunities in areas such as driverless cars, energy and cyber security.

Financial Services

Payment Services Bill introduced in Parliament Baker McKenzie 27th Nov 2018
Following a public consultation on the Payment Services Bill (PSB) in November 2017, the PSB was introduced in Parliament on 19 November 2018. The Minister for Education, Ong Ye Kung, on behalf of Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister-in-charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has moved the PSB for First Reading in Parliament.

Singapore Proposes New Delisting Rules to Protect Minority Interests Morgan Lewis 20th Nov 2018
The Singapore Exchange Regulation has proposed new rules for the delisting process in order to better align the various interests of offerors and shareholders, including by lowering the approval threshold for resolutions to pass and ensuring that exit offers are both reasonable and fair.

Health & Life Sciences

Singapore’s approach to war on diabetes 'generally in right direction': Health Minister Gan Kim Yong Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
One of the important takeaways from the two-day global conference on diabetes that Singapore hosted this week is that the city’s approach to tackling the epidemic is “generally in the right direction”, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Tuesday (Nov 27).

MOH wants public consultation on whether Singapore should ban or tax high-sugar drinks The Straits Times 4th Dec 2018
Singapore may well become the first country in the world to ban the sale of packaged drinks with high sugar content. This is one of the moves the Ministry of Health (MOH) is contemplating in its efforts to cut the high sugar intake of people here, as it is a major factor for obesity and diabetes.

ICT

High Court orders Internet service providers to block access to TV box apps Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
The High Court has ordered Internet service providers to block access to TV box applications that allow users to stream and download content like movies, TV shows and live sports channels.

Improve staff awareness of cybersecurity, better incident response proposed as SingHealth COI ends Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Five “top priority” recommendations were proposed by Solicitor-General Kwek Mean Luck for Singapore’s healthcare institutions to work on, as the 21-day Committee of Inquiry (COI) hearings on the SingHealth cyberattack came to a close on Friday (Nov 30).

State Courts plugs electronic loophole that allowed access to case files The Business Times 4th Dec 2018
Singapore State Courts has identified and fixed a vulnerability in its electronic case management system used in conducting criminal proceedings, which has allowed a few accused persons to gain unauthorised access to more than 200 e-case files, it said in a media statement on Wednesday.

EDB eyes investments in tech, ICT, healthcare The Business Times 4th Dec 2018
AS a Singapore-based investor, self-proclaimed to be "Singapore-first" and to have a "unique" position in the venture capital and private equity community, EDBI has identified deep tech, ICT (information and communications technology) and healthcare as industries to watch.

Vulnerabilities, missed opportunities and 16 recommendations: COI hearings on SingHealth cyber attack wrap up TODAYonline 4th Dec 2018
Beginning June 11, there were at least seven points when malicious activities in the SingHealth IT network should have been reported to the Cyber Security Agency (CSA), said Solicitor-General Kwek Mean Luck on Friday (Nov 30). In reality, the CSA was informed on July 10, after a massive cyber attack had occurred.

Industry group here working on code for digital token sector The Straits Times 30th Nov 2018
An industry association that will oversee digital tokens such as bitcoin and devise efficient ways to regulate the sector officially started here yesterday. The Token Economy Association (TEA) is already working with the Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Start-ups Singapore to launch a code that spells out best practices in a range of areas. These include anti-money laundering, ways to stop terrorism financing and due diligence procedures so customer identities can be authenticated.

Machine learning being used to detect fraud The New Paper 30th Nov 2018
SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), an agency that gives out grants and funding for lifelong training, announced yesterday it has implemented the use of machine learning to detect fraud. The move is one of SSG's new enhancements to its fraud risk management system. The media release outlining the enhancements follows several cases of fraud and cheating involving the schemes, including news of a man jailed on Tuesday for his role in a $40 million scam - the biggest fraud case involving a public institution in Singapore history.

IMDA geo-blocks two Malaysian news websites in Singapore for refusing to take down “fake news” The Independent Singapore 29th Nov 2018
The Infocomm Media Development Board (IMDA) has geo-blocked Internet users in Singapore from accessing two alternative Malaysian news websites after both publications refused to take down articles that have been deemed false by the Singapore authorities. IMDA, a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information, told reporters that it ordered internet service providers (ISPs) here to block access to the two websites earlier this month, on 10 Nov, after both websites re-published an article from the States Times Review (STR), that linked PM Lee and his Government to the 1MDB scandal.

Scam cases involving fraudulent subscription of mobile lines up 7 times The Straits Times 28th Nov 2018
Scam cases involving fraudulent subscription of mobile lines increased by more than seven times in the first half of 2018, compared with the same period last year. From January to June this year, 77 cases of fraudulent subscription of mobile lines were recorded with the police, with the amount cheated totalling more than $83,000. Such cases involve people who were cheated into signing up for handsets and mobile lines for others. This was usually done for a commission.

Indian business leaders seek AI collaboration with Singapore The Economic Times 23rd Nov 2018
Indian business leaders have urged Singapore to collaborate on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas like smart cities, 5G, electronic manufacturing, infrastructure and prevailing social issues in health and education.

Infrastructure

Singapore to ban discharge of 'wash water' at top ship refuelling port Channel NewsAsia 30th Nov 2018
The Maritime Port Authority (MPA) said on Friday (Nov 30) that it is banning with effect from Jan 1, 2020, the discharge of "wash water" used in ships to scrub engine exhaust. The ban on so-called open-loop scrubbers in Singapore is to help prepare one of the world's busiest ports for new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules that come into force in 2020 and oblige ships to use cleaner fuels.

SilkAir to transfer 17 routes to Scoot ahead of merger with Singapore Airlines Channel News Asia 22nd Nov 2018
SilkAir will transfer its services for 17 destinations to budget airline Scoot ahead of its merger with Singapore Airlines (SIA). In an announcement on Thursday (Nov 22), SIA added that Scoot will also transfer flights to Shenzhen in China and Kochi in India to SilkAir, and flights for two destinations in India to Singapore Airlines.

Singapore, Jiangsu to deepen economic partnership, advance BRI with signing of 13 MOUs Channel News Asia 20th Nov 2018
New industrial parks could soon be built in Southeast Asia after Sembcorp Development and China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday (Nov 20) to develop such parks in the region. This was one of the 13 MOUs signed during the 12th Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council meeting in Singapore, aimed at deepening economic partnership and advancing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Singapore, US renew agreement on infrastructure collaboration Channel News Asia 16th Nov 2018
An agreement between Singapore and the US on bilateral cooperation in infrastructure has been renewed, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Friday (Nov 16). This include areas in infrastructure, such as energy, providing support in the digital economy, as well as growth in financial technology (FinTech), e-commerce, smart city solutions and deep technology.

Manufacturing

Singapore's electronics manufacturing sector contracts in November Channel NewsAsia 4th Dec 2018
After 27 consecutive months of expansion, Singapore’s electronics sector contracted in November.

Singapore factory output in October beats forecasts with 4.3% rise The Straits Times 26th Nov 2018
Singapore's manufacturing output grew 4.3 per cent year on year in October, more than rebounding from September's 0.1 per cent dip and exceeding economists' expectations of 2.6 per cent growth.

Travel & Tourism

Belitung island: 5 reasons it should be your next beach holiday destination Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Looking for something less crowded than Bali, but can’t afford the price tag of a luxury island resort? Look no further than Belitung island, now a mere 1.5-hour flight from Singapore since Garuda Indonesia launched four weekly direct flights from Changi Airport to Belitung’s airport in Tanjung Pandan.

Changi Airport saw 4.3% more passengers in October Channel NewsAsia 6th Dec 2018
Changi airport handled 4.3 per cent more passengers in October compared to the same period last year, as all regions registered growth in traffic.