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Volatility, uncertainties expected for global eonomy: Singapore PM

(Xinhua)

14:12, November 29, 2011

SINGAPORE, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- A period of volatility and uncertainties are expected for the global economy, creating considerable challenges for the central bank to keep the financial system and economy healthy, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said.

Lee said Singapore was experiencing a fundamental reshaping of the economic and financial landscape, local daily Straits Times reported on Tuesday.

"This is a critical period for the global economy and financial system. The underlying problems -- indebtedness and imbalances -- remain unresolved, in particular in Europe," Lee said at the 40th anniversary dinner of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

While the central bank has done well to keep prices and the financial system stable, Singapore cannot take the future for granted, he said.

Lee noted that the central bank has kept inflation largely steady at an average of about 2 percent a year over the past 40 years.

The official foreign reserves of Singapore have grown about 50 times in real terms to over 200 billion U.S. dollars, helping to maintain confidence in the Singdollar while defending it against speculative attacks.

The central bank has a key role in developing Singapore as an international financial center, too, he said.

The financial sector accounts for 12 percent of the economy now, doubling what it was 40 years ago. About 150 foreign banks have operations in Singapore.

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