April 23, 2007

SINGAPORE AGENDA - April 23 ' 29

Learn about more efficient building methods

A look at the key events at home this week, plus a look back at the week that was


THE Minister of State for National Development, Ms Grace Fu, will open an exhibition on sustainable construction methods today and announce several initiatives on the matter.


Recent disruptions in the supply of sand and granite have caused the price of concrete - which is made with both materials - to jump from about $70 per cubic metre to between $180 and $200 now.

This was caused by the Indonesian government's ban on the export of land sand on Feb 5, and detention of barges carrying granite to Singapore a few weeks later. Sand costs $60 per tonne now, up from $20 before, while the price of granite has risen from $25 per tonne to $70.

The hike is expected to raise construction costs by an average of 7 per cent. Beyond cost concerns, there is a need to upgrade the building industry and nudge it towards more efficient and cleaner construction methods - by using steel instead of concrete, for example.

With the industry still stinging from recent disruptions due to an over-reliance on concrete, now is a good time to make that push.

Young Asian, Arab leaders gather for dialogue


THE first Young Arab Leaders Global Action Forum: Arab and Asian Dialogue will be held here on Friday and Saturday.

More than 150 Arab and Asian leaders will gather at The Ritz'Carlton, Millenia Singapore.


The forum aims to establish closer ties between Asia and the Middle East by creating collaboration opportunities between the young leaders.

Participants will have a dialogue with Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Jordan's Prince Feisal Bin Al Hussein.

The forum is organised under the patronage of Jordan's King Abdullah and SM Goh.

Property experts to talk shop


TRADE and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang opens the Asia' Pacific Property Conference 2007 today at The Ritz'Carlton, Millenia Singapore. It brings together 300 of the most influential industry players from all over the world.


One of the topics to be discussed is 'Remaking Singapore - Is the Real Estate Boom Sustainable?' Given the current property boom, home owners and property investors will be keen to find out what the experts have to say.