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Asia's growth story "alive and well": DBS chief

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The Asian growth story is "alive and well", driven by megatrends that include a young population, rising wealth, and market reform in China, said DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta on Monday.

THE Asian growth story is "alive and well", driven by megatrends that include a young population, rising wealth, and market reform in China, said DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta on Monday.

"I believe the reality is, we're still at the cusp of what people have often called, the Asian century," said Mr Gupta at the conference Sibos 2015.

"If you ignore the cycles, the reality is that the megatrends on which the Asian story is founded, are pretty inexorable and quite immutable."

He noted that Asia's GDP (gross domestic product) has grown from 40 per cent of the US GDP in 2000, to 70-80 per cent of US GDP in 2010. Asia also has an attractive demographic profile, given its average age is 28. By contrast, that stands at 39 in Europe.

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The worries behind China's mounting debt should also be measured against its large fiscal capacity, said Mr Gupta.

"The state of the problem is no bigger than the US problem when Geithner wrote a cheque for TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Programme) at US$700 billion," he told participants.

He said that China, in moving from an administered economy, to a market-driven one, has made some policy missteps. This is even as the recent market reform has largely followed a blueprint laid out.

"You cannot discount the possibility of accidents. However, once again, I think they are operating to a plan," said Mr Gupta.

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