By Chio Su-Mei, Channel NewsAsia
SINGAPORE : Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Sunday gave the assurance that Singapore is not heading for a recession.
Speaking at a community event, Mr Tharman said, "From all indications we have at this point, I don't think we're heading for a recession. But there will be discomfort on the ground. Unfortunately, the fuel price increase in Malaysia does mean that vegetable, poultry and some other prices will go up. We can't avoid that. Fortunately, rice prices globally are coming down.
"But overall, we're in a situation which isn't temporary - this will be with us for a while. Commodity prices are much higher than what they used to be. But we're tackling it, and we're confident of tackling it - both through the government's measures, the Growth Dividends, the GST Credits, as well as the way in which you see a lot of community initiatives on the ground."
Mr Tharman was speaking to reporters at the Entrepreneur-in-You Carnival at Republic Polytechnic, where some 7,000 people turned up to pick up tips on starting their own business.
The carnival included forums, workshops and an exhibition to nurture business acumen.
There were also winning business presentations by tertiary institutions, and a presentation of the 2008 Youth Enterprise Awards.
The People's Association organised the event to encourage Singaporeans to be entrepreneurial. - CNA/ms