Manu writes regularly for The Edge Singapore where these blogs first appeared.
2019 could be a tricky year for Singapore’s economy. Despite strong fundamentals domestically, Singapore may be vulnerable to slowing global demand as a result of growing trade protectionism and large economies resorting to tariffs and other kinds of nontariff measures. This, in turn, could have a follow-on impact on trade-related services.
Though enjoying a surplus of benefits from Sino-US trade despite deficit in goods, the current US administration has resorted to measures that are against WTO principles and agreements, distorting multilateral trade rules, and posing risks to Asian businesses, according to officials and analysts.
In the past year and a half, the issue of the 99-year leases on Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats has triggered off much debate. Now might be a good time to step back and examine what exactly has changed as a result of this debate and what the broader implications are. In fact, this issue could be a major game changer in many areas.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the economic engine of Indonesia. In 2013, MSMEs accounted for up to 70 percent of Indonesia’s total gross domestic product, and more than 95 percent of the country’s workforce works in an MSME. And women owned nearly four in ten of those MSMEs in 2015.
Southeast Asia scarcely disappoints with its capacity to produce uplifting surprises. Malaysia’s voters recently proved the pundits wrong and elected a reformist government that is taking on that country’s challenges with gusto. Since 1998, Indonesia has done the same by pulling off one of the most impressive democratic transitions among emerging market economies.