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World economy to recover in 3 to 5 years


October 26, 2008

Singapore’s top leader: World economy to recover in 3 to 5 years
Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said that barring a malfunction in the banking system, the world economy will be restored in three to five years, city-state’s broadcaster Channel News Asia reported on its website.

He also provided an upbeat assessment of Asia, thanks to the growth of twin giants, China and India.

Speaking to some 700 delegates at the Human Capital Summit in Singapore, Lee said no one can predict how long or deep the current market turmoil will be. But he is confident that Asia will do better than the rest of the world.

Lee said East Asia should be able to achieve an annual growth of about 3 to 5 percent - quite a good figure, considering the current climate.

He said: "When things are down, you have increased unemployment; use that time to build up skills and knowledge."

Lee said Singapore is doing just that in its Continuing Education and Training Scheme. And assuming that China and India were to grow, Mr Lee said that Singapore has to accept that the two giants will do things better.

The key for Singapore is to maximise on its assets and that, he said, is what is called the "Singapore System".

Lee said that both China and India may have the individual catch-ups but the countries cannot change their systems that easily. He said it will take 20, maybe 40 years for China and India to transform their systems into the "Singapore System".

Lee said the two countries do not have a system of meritocracy and protection of patents. "Why would anybody with a pharmaceutical discovery risk their products... (in) China and India? If he comes to Singapore, he knows that his intellectual property will be protected," he added.

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