Talk about moving the goal posts. With the Singapore economy likely to grow slower than before, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wants the country's economic performance to be judged not only by the gross domestic product but also by Singapore companies' overseas investments.
"We have to look at multiple indexes," he said. "I don't think you can look at just one. GDP will remain important, but perhaps we should look at GNP together with it."
While GDP or the gross domestic product is the income earned inside a country, GNP or the gross national product includes projects and investments abroad whose benefits flow back to Singapore, he said, reports the Business Times.
"If we focus only on developments within Singapore, we are physically constrained. There are limits to our space and manpower," he said.
He is right.
The only problem is the GDP is the standard measure of economic performance. The World Trade Organization lists a country's GDP, not GNP.
Here is Singapore's economic performance over the past nine years compared with its neighbours and a few other East Asian countries.