Singapore's Tharman named finance minister of the year

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-13 10:44:09

Singapore's Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will receive the Finance Minister of the Year award by Euromoney magazine in Washington on Sunday, local media reported.

The accolade recognizes Tharman's "over-arching role" in shifting Singapore's economic growth model from one dependent on an ever-expanding working population to a steadier platform of increasing productivity, Euromoney said on Saturday.

The shift is taking place even while Singapore's status as an innovative trade and financial services hub to diversified export markets is being maintained.

"Not content with... relying on low taxes to attract foreign direct investment and business... (he) has spearheaded a push to find new sources of economic growth, while building a social safety net to address discontent over strained infrastructure and rising living costs," it said.

Tharman will receive the award on Sunday in a private presentation at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington.

Singapore authorities have been tightening their foreign labor and immigration policies over the past several years to push for upgrading of the economy by boosting the productivity.

Euromoney said that "there is universal consensus that there is no better policymaker than (him) to push through this domestic agenda, while actively crafting policies to ensure the city-state maintains its relevance amid competition from such rivals as Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Dubai."

It also lauded Tharman's accomplishments outside Singapore -- he is the first Asian to chair the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee.

"His keen grasp of monetary policies and global economics is well known and respected, not just in Singapore and Asia, but in the international community," said DBS Bank chief Piyush Gupta.

Tharman entered politics in 2001 after an illustrious career at the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He was appointed Finance Minister in 2007.

Tharman is also chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and sits on the board of the sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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