- Impact of crisis is being monitored: Finance Minister Wong
- Comments come as conflict roils markets, boosts oil prices
Singapore is prepared to introduce additional measures to help households, workers and businesses deal with any economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine if the situation deteriorates further, according to its finance minister.
“On the economic front, we are monitoring closely the impact of this crisis,” Lawrence Wong said in a Facebook post-Monday. Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong also warned earlier Monday that the war had clouded the city-state’s economic outlook and “inflationary pressures are likely to rise further in the near term.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has roiled markets from energy to metals and grains, heaping more inflationary pressure on a global economy already grappling with soaring costs. Brent crude prices have surged above $100 a barrel and liquefied natural gas has doubled in the last six months.
Soaring global energy costs will have a significant impact on the economy as Singapore imports most of its needs, Gan said in parliament. Electricity rates for businesses and households, as well as pump prices for gasoline and diesel, are expected to increase, he said.
The conflict will further strain global supply chains as Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of commodities such as wheat, nickel and palladium, Gan added.
“As an open economy, we will not be able to totally insulate Singapore from the impact of higher global costs,” he said. “It is crucial that we strengthen our defences against such external shocks.”
Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said Monday the country plans to impose export controls on items that can be used as weapons in Ukraine “to inflict harm or to subjugate the Ukrainians.” Singapore will also block certain Russian banks and financial transactions connected to the country.
The measures are being worked out and will be announced shortly, he told parliament. It’s the only country in Southeast Asia that has imposed sanctions against Russia in the absence of binding United Nations Security Council approval.
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