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STEP UP PRODUCTIVITY AMID GLOBAL SLOWDOWN

THIS year has been a tough one for Singapore's economy, for reasons that were summed up in recent remarks made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Early last month, IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned that the world economy may never revert to the pace of growth it enjoyed before the global financial crisis. She flagged the risk of a "new mediocre", where worldwide growth stays low and uneven for a protracted period - hurting economies that rely on external demand, such as Singapore.

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GIC REPORTS STEADY RETURNS

SINGAPORE investment fund GIC posted brighter returns on the nation's nest egg as the world economy kept growing and financial markets stayed robust. Over five years to March 31 this year, GIC's assets across the globe returned 12.4 per cent in US dollar terms - well above the 2.6 per cent for the five years to March 31 last year.

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INSIDE SINGAPORE'S SUCCESS

How did Singapore become the envy of the world? In many ways, it did what competent governments are supposed to do. Quality public housing? Check. Top-notch public education? Check. An open, pro-business economy? Check. The city-state also continues to develop innovative approaches to challenges such as immigration, taxes and debt. Singaporean Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam recently sat down with Credit Suisse to explain how the country became the alpha male of the Asian Tigers and a global archetype of economic success.

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