Wed, Feb 13, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Asia will not slide into recession, says Singapore's Lee


Asia will not tip into recession even though the US economy is faltering, Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan-yew (李光耀) was quoted as saying yesterday.

"This is quite remarkable, for it will be the first time that when the American economy slows down and reduces imports from Asia, Asia will not go into recession," the Straits Times quoted Lee as telling a Lunar New Year dinner.

Lee pointed to growth in China and India, as well as in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, newspapers quoted him as saying.

"Singapore is in the center of the world's highest growth region," he said at the dinner, the Today newspaper reported.

Some economists say a US recession has already started. A US housing slump, led by rising mortgage defaults among "subprime" or high-risk customers, triggered a credit crunch that has wreaked havoc on world markets in recent months.

The government has forecast growth of 4.5 to 6.5 percent for Singapore this year, after 7.5 percent last year.

Lee said that aside from being in the middle of a dynamic region, Singapore will also benefit from massive investments underway on casino developments, subway lines and other projects.

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