Singapore announces defence budget increase amid growing Covid-19 concerns

21 February 2020

Singapore has announced a 2020 defence budget of SGD15.085 billion (USD10.77 billion) amid rising concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) on the Southeast Asian city-state.

The government said the new defence expenditure is an increase of SGD462.9 million - or 3.2% - over the revised defence budget allocation in 2019. However, the 2020 defence budget is also a 2.4% decline against the original 2019 defence appropriation of SGD15.47 billion.

This decrease is regarded as a reflection of the trade-related economic headwinds facing the Southeast Asian country.

In his budget speech on 18 February, Singapore's finance minister Heng Swee Keat said the country's economy grew in 2019 by just 0.7%.

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