Mdm Ho Geok Choo, Member for West Coast GRC
To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry:
(i) Given that much of our Q3 2007 performance was due to the construction industry, whether Singapore is now overly-reliant on this industry vis-à-vis the other traditional growth industries (manufacturing and services), and
(ii) if so, how sustainable is this strategy especially after the integrated resorts are built and a possible cooling of the construction industry arises.
Mdm Ho has expressed concern that much of our third quarter GDP growth was due to the construction industry.On the contrary, economic performance has been broad-based, with healthy growth by all major sectors.Nor has construction been the major source of GDP growth. At less than 4 per cent of the economy, construction accounted for only an estimated 5 per cent of total GDP growth in the third quarter. Manufacturing – which grew by double digits in the third quarter – accounted for an estimated 35 per cent of total GDP growth in the third quarter.
I would also like to point out that the strong growth in construction was not due to just the integrated resorts, but to a wide range of private sector projects – commercial, industrial and residential – including the Shell cracker, Reflections at Keppel Bay, Orchard Central and Orchard Turn. The growth of the construction sector has reflected the broader growth in economic activity and investment projects.
Mr Speaker, Sir, the Singapore economy is more diversified than it was 10 years ago.The growth of the biomedical and chemical industries has helped to reduce our dependence on electronics.Financial services, business services, transport services, and tourism have become strong engines of growth, while new industries like energy, environment and water technologies, and interactive and digital media are emerging. As our economic base diversifies, our growth will become more stable and sustained.