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Monday, June 30, 2008

Speech by Mr Tharman at ABS AGM 2008

Mr Tharman, Minister for Finance, just gave a speech for the Association of the Banks in Singapore AGM 2008 on 27 June 2008. He addressed the current challenges on global and Singapore economy.

I extracted 2 key points being addressed
  • Developing Asia in fact faces greater risks in inflation than the US or Europe. Asian countries have been harder hit by the rise in prices of food, which takes up a much larger share of household expenditures (30% or more, which is roughly double what it is in the US and Europe), as well as the oil price increase. CPI inflation in developing Asia is now running at around 8% on average, although the figures probably understate inflationary pressures in economies with price controls on various commodities. Some Asian economies are seeing much higher inflation rates.
  • Singapore’s challenges mirror those faced elsewhere in Asia, but are in some ways more pronounced. We are a price taker in the textbook sense, given our small size and the openness of our economy and financial markets. We cannot insulate ourselves from global prices of food or fuel, or anything else.
Full Speech by Mr Tharman

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