Singapore shippers face ôdifficult year aheadö
Singapore National Shippers' Council Chairman John Lu said its members are in for a tough year as the world economy rebounds from its 'biggest challenge in modern history.'
Speaking at the SNSC annual meeting last week, Lu said Singapore's government has acted quickly to help the island nation's trade-dependent economy get back on course, approving a $20.5 billion stimulus package and formulating new schemes to help small- and medium-sized companies gain access to capital.
'With the ongoing deleveraging and deflation, we can expect the global economic crisis to get worse before it gets better,' he said. 'There is also the danger that importing countries may adopt protectionist measures to shield their domestic manufacturers from foreign imports. Given this grim scenario we can expect a difficult year ahead for shippers. As a shippers' association, the SNSC can and should continue to forge ahead.
'World leaders have to face up with their biggest challenge in modern history, how can they reverse the downward spiral in economic activities triggered by the financial collapse in the U.S.
Singapore is not spared by the unfolding crisis as trade accounts for 3.5 times of its GDP.'