Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the city state that rebounded from recession in the previous year and grew by 14.7% in 2010 had the best economic growth ever recorded.
However, Lee said the 2010 economic growth was the results of "special circumstances" and were "unlikely to
be repeated soon". In his new year message televised last night, he said the outlook for the world economy remained mixed with pressure from slow growth in the US and the Europe.
Singapore had pegged 14% annual growth from 1968 to 1970, when the island was undergoing massive infrastructure and economic transformation.
Sounding confident on Asia, Lee said the region was maintaining a strong economic growth momentum.
"China and India are forging ahead, and countries in Southeast Asia are growing steadily. Hopefully, Asia will continue to do well despite the weakness in developed countries and create a favourable regional environment for Singapore," he said.
Lee highlighted Singapore’s challenges - managing inflow of immigrants and foreign workers, the need to keep home ownership affordable and helping low-income Singaporeans cope with the increasing cost of living.
Singapore faces the challenges of managing its public housing scheme, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) built apartments, which are traded as private properties in the market after initially being sold on a subsidiSed rates to Singaporeans.
But the resale property market has heated up with new immigrants becoming permanent residents and owners of the apartments resulting in high prices.
Besides, Lee pointed out that globalisation has led to widening of income gap in Singapore, a phenomenon also seen in countries like the US, China and India.