SINGAPORE – Singaporeans should brace for economic challenges ahead but they need not be overly pessimistic, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

Mr Chan’s comments on Tuesday (Aug 13) came after the official growth forecast for the year was revised to between 0 per cent and 1 per cent, down from 1.5 to 2.5 per cent.

Mr Chan said in a Facebook post: “The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely because every economic cycle is different and we must apply the right measures in order to effectively support our businesses and workers.”

He added that Singapore’s ability to attract good investment reflects investors’ confidence in the country’s long-term value, noting that Finnish energy firm Neste was expanding its renewable products plant here as part of a $2.1 billion investment.

Mr Chan said the global economy as a whole has weakened, with the International Monetary Fund lowering its forecast for growth four times since October.

“We have always overcome challenging economic cycles in the past by standing united and building on our strong fundamentals and this time is no different,” he wrote.

“As we manage the cyclical headwinds, we will also restructure our economy to deal with the longer-term structural shifts.

“This will allow us to weather the storm and emerge stronger as a country.”