Singapore will roll out a “strong” economic package next week as part of its national budget to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, with the impact on the trade-reliant city-state seen as worse than the 2003 Sars pandemic.
The increased economic threat stems from several reasons, such as China’s economy being much bigger today as well as being more consumption- and service-oriented, said Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s minister for national development who co-chairs a task force coordinating the government’s virus response.
“I think you can well anticipate a larger impact overall which will then have a knock-on impact on Singapore too,” Wong said. He declined to reveal the size of the package or whether it will be bigger than the S$230 million ($166 million) Sars relief package rolled out during the 2003 pandemic, which also battered the city-state’s economy at the time.
Wong said beyond specific sectors like tourism and hospitality that have already weakened, the broader knock-on effect could be “quite severe.“