The Week in Retrospect [Apr 20 – 26]

This week saw Singapore’s exports rise, new initiative on bilingual learning, new joint venture to develop wearable technology and the start of ASEAN summit.

Upcoming workshops to offer parents teaching tips on bilingual learning: Parents will be able to get tips on making learning languages fun for their pre-school children, through a series of community workshops made possible by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism. The workshops will show parents how they can use tools like finger puppets, rhythms, songs and games to help their children develop their listening and oral skills.

Starbucks’ strong results quash growth woes: Starbucks Corp said sales at its coffee shops in the Americas region grew more than expected, boosted by sales of breakfast sandwiches, lunch and new drinks.

Encouraging sign for Singapore’s exports: After months of downbeat data, Singapore’s economy made an unexpected surge with an 18.5% increase of non-oil domestic exports in March, marking the biggest rise since 2012.

SPRING and Intel collaborate to develop wearables: SPRING Singapore has announced a joint initiative with Intel to support local SMEs to develop products and services in the Internet-of-Things and Wearable segment.

ASEAN downplaying sea dispute at annual summit: Despite increasingly assertive actions by China in South China Sea and pressure by the Philippines to denounce Beijing’s reclamation work, host Malaysia kept to ASEAN’s self-restraint policy and steered clear of criticising China’s actions. The strategic waters of South China Sea has caused deep divide between ASEAN states who have competing claims over the disputed territory and who have close economic ties with China.

Singapore among top 25 happiest countries: The World Happiness Report 2015 has Singapore as the 24th happiest country in the world. Switzerland topped the happiness ranking, which factors a number of criteria such as GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support, perceptions of corruption

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