An Optimist’s (or Simpleton’s) Brief Prediction for 2018

1. At the beginning of 2017, there were concerns about rise of nationalism and nativism, underpinned by Trump’s political manifesto and battle cry to make America great again, and underlying forces driving Brexit.

Political victories by Merkel, Macron and other leaders show that the developed world is not ready to erect walls and build a more protectionist, defensive, and a more regulated economy.

Instead, it is committed to have a rule-based international order and to develop a progressive and hopefully, a compassionate globalized economy.

Regional blocs, such as the EU and ASEAN, will become more compelled to close ranks. There will be a stronger drive to complete regional agreements such as the CPTPP and RCEP in response to influence of stronger economies such as the U.S., China and other competitive blocs.

Notwithstanding the need for a more peaceful world, there will be increased military spending to strengthen geo-political influence and security, and combat extreme terrorism.

2. The U.S. will continue to look inward to resolve many of its domestic issues, and prepare for the midterm election due in November 2018. It will have a lesser influential role in global affairs.

The EU will continue to focus on enhancing its unity, coming to grips with Brexit, and maintaining its edge.

As a result, China and Russia will expand their circles of influence.

Russia will leverage on its influence online and in the Middle East.

China and India will be the fastest growing economies. They will have undue influence politically, economically and militarily.

China will continue to shift from a labor-intensive to a higher value-added service market; and from a “made in China” to a “created in China” economy. There will be a balance between being an investment-dependent economy and a consumption-based economy.

China has been offering candies and cookies, especially to gain support for its Belt and Road Initiative, and will continue to do so in order to strengthen its ties with many Asian and African countries.

3. Trump’s conflicting views and potential conflicts of interests – potential conflicts between him and the electoral base, and potential conflicts of views between him and members of his team and with members of the Senate and House of Representatives will cause greater unreliability, unpredictability and uncertainty.

This will underpin increased volatility in the economy and the investment market, resulting in knee-jerk reactions and sharp movements.

4. Trump’s projected expansionary policies will increase budget deficit, put upward pressures on inflationary rates, and increase interest rates.

In the short-term, we are already seeing – and will continue to see – flight of capital to the U.S. and strengthening of the greenbacks.

5. The global economy will grow modestly.

There’ll be increasing inflationary rates across the developed world, and central banks will be pressured to tighten monetary policies and introduce heterodox measures to tame undue inflation.

6. In Singapore, there will be a reshuffling of the cabinet in 2018.

By then, the possible candidates to become first among equal will be shortlisted to three candidates, namely, Chan Chun Sing, Ong Ye Kung and Heng Swee Keat.

The 4G leadership team will run key positions in the cabinet. They will be more active in crafting policies and directions for the nation.

As we move closer to the next General Election, there will be lesser price increase for public goods.

The ruling government will strengthen its socialist roots to improve social safety net for the poor and needy, including those who fall between the cracks.

There will be more resources being apportioned to re-skill our people for the new economy, especially the senior PMETs.

The government will look into more holistic ways to look after the elderly (in view of the forthcoming silver tsunami), children of disadvantaged families, retrenched and displaced workers, and those who are physically challenged.

In the short-term, the government will have to step up to improve total fertility rate as it will have a major impact on our economy and society in the future.

The ruling party will leverage on the 200th anniversary celebration of the founding of modern Singapore in 2019 to entrench its political position for the next General Election.

Singapore’s economy will expand by about 3-3.5 per cent. It will continue to go through a challenging time to redesign and re-make the economy.

SMEs will go through a tough time to have a stable and secure footing in the new world of disorder. There will likely be more belt-tightening measures in response to the VUCA environment.

Retrenchment and unemployment rate will increase in the short- to mid-term, especially among senior PMETs which will be on the rise.

The government will continue to introduce different measures in response to recommendations by the Committee on the Future Economy to improve capacity, develop new markets, help re-skill vulnerable workers, and to boost innovation and value-creating programmes.

A higher allocation of Budget 2018 should be deployed to strengthen the economy, support business growth and ensure that our workers are productive in the new economy.

7. Government’s land sales will deliver 7,400 units to the market. In addition, collective recent sales will add another 9,300 units; notwithstanding there’s a lag time of 1-2 years before they come on stream.

All these units will weigh on the current over-supplied market.

The current heat in the market is driven by pent-up demand, hype from the mass media, sentiments from the ground, biddings from overseas players, and need for developers to grow their land banks.

The rental market is still sluggish and the government has no urgent intention to remove the cooling measures. Political reality suggests that the ruling government is less inclined to want the market to become bullish, especially as we edge towards the next General Election.

While sentiments can drive up the market in the short-term, the reality of supply and demand factors will hit home in the mid- to long-term,.

There’s no need to rush into the property market in the belief that there will be a V-shaped turn in the near future.

The authorities will be watching the property market closely to ensure that it will not be overheated and more importantly, it will not affect the ruling party’s political currency.

The underlying intention is that the property market will grow in tandem with the projected growth of the economy. Having said that, the growth will not be broad-based and will only be applicable in selected areas that are underpinned by positive fundamentals.

8. The world is at an inflection point to herald the advent of a new age, supported by accelerated growth of advanced technology.

If Singapore plays our game well, we can be one of the fulcrums of a neo-Renaissance Age.

Singapore can be a vital toll gate for global trade.

We can be an essential hub and spoke, and the node, router and connector of international commerce.

How then should you respond?

Unpredictability is not an enemy. Uncertainty is not a foe.

Look out for silver linings in every dark cloud.

For example, threats to the economy and trade disputes will trigger knee-jerk responses and overreactions in the investment markets.

There’ll be under-valued assets that will yield positive gains for mid- to long-term investors.

For entrepreneurs, the economic slowdown is one of the best times to fine-tune business models, increase market shares, improve operations, and prepare for an upturn.

In a challenging environment, there’ll be increasing demand for bonds and asset-backed investments.

Singapore will become more appealing as a safe haven.

Many foreign investors, such as Chinese investors, may hedge value of their assets, arbitrage foreign currency movements, and invest in selected properties for mid- to long-term gains.

There will be good buys in both business and investment markets.

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones the most wonderful year and life ahead.

May all your dreams come true – beyond your wildest imagination.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

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Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on Visit my Inspiration blog at For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at Please visit my website, Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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