Singapore is one of the global economic success stories of recent decades. Its sovereign wealth fund, GIC, is one of the world’s largest fund management companies, with assets of over $100bn. And GIC has already been active during the early stages of the credit crunch, investing $18bn since December in supporting cash-calls from Citigroup and UBS.

GIC’s views on the outlook for the Asian/world economy are therefore of great interest to the chemical industry. Unfortunately, the message is not the one that we would wish to hear. Speaking today to its 500 employees, deputy chairman Tony Tan warned that `We could be facing a recession which is longer, deeper and wider than any recession that we have encountered in the last 30 years’.

He added that ‘as banks continue to deleverage, cutting down on their lending activities and causing contraction in credit supply, the prospects for the U.S. economy and possibly even the world economy are fraught with considerable downside risks.’

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