Haze disaster could cost Singapore $1b

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singapore_asia_hazeThe estimated damage for Singapore from the air pollution disaster caused by Sumatra forest fires could reach $1 billion, according to analysts, in combined losses from business disruption, a drop in tourism numbers, as well as increased healthcare costs.

Business outlets in the city state, among them restaurants, hotels and tour operators, reported a drop in revenue of up to 40 per cent. Public hospitals are full of people seeking treatment from the hazardous haze, and airlines face extra costs due to disrupted traffic.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the haze, which eased on June 23 and 24, could last a few weeks or until the dry season ends in Sumatra in September or October, prompting fears that damage for the city states’ economy could be even higher than $1 billion. Analysts say that the disaster could shave 0.3 to 0.5 percentage points off of Singapore’s 2013 growth forecast of 3 per cent. That would mean up to $1.2 billion in economic losses.

Estimations on the economic impact on Malaysia and Indonesia haven’t been announced yet. In comparison, the Southeast Asia haze crisis in 1997 lasted about three months and cost an estimated $9 billion from disruptions to air travel, health expenses and other business impacts in all affected countries.

Meanwhile, Indonesia has arrested two farmers for illegally starting fires to clear land in Sumatra, the first detentions linked to the blazes. However, the farmers were not linked to any of the companies the government suspects are responsible for Southeast Asia’s worst air pollution crisis in years.

 

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The estimated damage for Singapore from the air pollution disaster caused by Sumatra forest fires could reach $1 billion, according to analysts, in combined losses from business disruption, a drop in tourism numbers, as well as increased healthcare costs.

Reading Time: 1 minute

singapore_asia_hazeThe estimated damage for Singapore from the air pollution disaster caused by Sumatra forest fires could reach $1 billion, according to analysts, in combined losses from business disruption, a drop in tourism numbers, as well as increased healthcare costs.

Business outlets in the city state, among them restaurants, hotels and tour operators, reported a drop in revenue of up to 40 per cent. Public hospitals are full of people seeking treatment from the hazardous haze, and airlines face extra costs due to disrupted traffic.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the haze, which eased on June 23 and 24, could last a few weeks or until the dry season ends in Sumatra in September or October, prompting fears that damage for the city states’ economy could be even higher than $1 billion. Analysts say that the disaster could shave 0.3 to 0.5 percentage points off of Singapore’s 2013 growth forecast of 3 per cent. That would mean up to $1.2 billion in economic losses.

Estimations on the economic impact on Malaysia and Indonesia haven’t been announced yet. In comparison, the Southeast Asia haze crisis in 1997 lasted about three months and cost an estimated $9 billion from disruptions to air travel, health expenses and other business impacts in all affected countries.

Meanwhile, Indonesia has arrested two farmers for illegally starting fires to clear land in Sumatra, the first detentions linked to the blazes. However, the farmers were not linked to any of the companies the government suspects are responsible for Southeast Asia’s worst air pollution crisis in years.

 

 

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