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Trade minister Lim Hng Kiang says Brexit not good for global recovery

Friday, June 10, 2016 - 11:25
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Singapore's trade minister said on Thursday a British vote to leave the European Union would have a significant impact on the United Kingdom and do nothing positive for the global economy.

[MEXICO CITY] Singapore's trade minister said on Thursday a British vote to leave the European Union would have a significant impact on the United Kingdom and do nothing positive for the global economy.

Trade minister Lim Hng Kiang said in an interview in Mexico City that he and fellow officials had been closely following developments ahead of the June 23 referendum.

"If the British were to vote for Brexit, then I think the long term consequences would be very significant for Britain specifically," Mr Lim said.

"Definitely not a positive development when you talk about global economic recovery."

Some Brexit proponents have argued that Singapore, a tiny port-based nation that depends heavily on free trade, is one of the countries that could be a successful model for Britain to follow if it ends up leaving the EU.

However, Mr Lim's comments add to the list of such nations that have questioned the merits of Britain going it alone.

The minister added that the Asian country would meet its gross domestic product growth target of between one per cent and 3 per cent for this year, but he said there were some risks.

"On balance, the risk is more to the downside, because when you look at the global growth situation in the first quarter, the global recovery has not gained as much traction as all of us had hoped," he said.

Mr Lim is part of a Singapore delegation accompanying President Tony Tan Keng Yam on his state visit to Mexico.

The five-day trip is the first state visit by a Singapore President to a Latin American nation, and commemorates 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

REUTERS