Tuesday June 25, 2013

Industries seen to be less affected by haze

SINGAPORE: Industries in Malaysia and Singapore are expected to be less affected by the current haze menace, said Moody's Analytics economist Alaistair Chan.

Chan said although the haze could have a negative impact to some extent, given that Malaysia's and Singapore's economies were export-driven, their biggest industries (manufacturing, commodities) would be little affected by the haze.

“It is hard to forecast the exact impact on Singapore and Malaysia. Although we would expect a hit to retail/entertainment spending, it could also spur growth in other areas, for example, online sales.

“The biggest impact may be on geopolitics. For instance, it could spur Asean to pursue greater information sharing and collaboration to fix regional problems,” he said in response to Bernama's queries on the impact of the haze on both Malaysia and Singapore.

Chan said tourism could take a hit but it would be less than expected.

“Most tourists have booked well in advance and there are no signs of mass cancellations yet. It probably won't affect future tourism, given that the haze should be gone in a month,” he said.

Malaysia and Singapore have been hit by the haze for more than a week now due to forest fires in Indonesia. - Bernama

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