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Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said on Sunday the country’s economy has emerged out of the recession with minimum damage.
Speaking at an annual tree planting ceremony, Lee said that Singapore’s economy may grow by 3 percent next year, adding that this year’s 4th quarter looks healthy after the economy bounced back in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, according to local TV broadcaster Channel News Asia.
Lee added that Singaporeans must be prepared for slower economic growth, but said that slower growth in the nation and other countries in Asia will still be higher than other regions of the world.
He said that Singapore is placed at the junction of three big economies that are not export-dependent, namely China, India and Indonesia, whose domestic consumption and investments have enabled their economies to continue achieving positive growth despite a slowdown in exports.
“The rest of East and Southeast Asia have the benefit of the overflow effect from China, India and, to a lesser extent, Indonesia. Furthermore, we have free trade agreements with China and India that will give us an advantage over other regions.” Lee said.
In the first quarter of this year when Singapore experienced a sudden drop in exports, Singapore had expected the economy to shrink by up to 9 percent. However, the country’s economy has bounced back in the following quarters. The Singapore government’s latest economic growth forecast for 2009 estimates that the country’s economy growth will be between minus 2.5 to minus 2.0 percent.