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ECBs QE – Another Challenge For Europe

In this edition of Views from the Top published in The Business Times, Achieve Group CEO Joshua Yim shared his views on the effectiveness of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing in boosting the eurozone economy, and its impact on Singapore businesses:

“Indeed, market watchers are divided over this phenomenon. I personally feel that the ECB’s QE programme may send the wrong signal to countries in the eurozone (such as Greece) that are still grappling with a lot of economic turmoil. We should go back to basics: will beleaguered countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece be able to curb expenditure while raising productivity? This is still a question mark and the concern is that the QE may provide these countries with a “false sense of security” and negate their commitment to seek and implement systemic changes to their economies. The QE is touted as ECB president Mario Draghi’s last resort in monetary policy options and is obviously intended to save the whole eurozone from being in dire straits. I believe it will help in the short term but I’m not sure if it will save the EU in the long run.

That is the question on everybody’s mind right now. How will these affect Singapore? As a very small country, we are very susceptible to the fluctuations in international economic and monetary policies. According to statistics from the European Commission, imports between the EU and Singapore stood at 17.6 billion euros in 2013 while exports amounted to 29.2 billion euros. With the drop in the valuation of the euro, imports will become cheaper and this will benefit businesses dealing with imported goods from the eurozone. However, it will become more financially challenging for businesses that export to the eurozone, which appears to make up a larger proportion of the market based on the aforementioned statistics. Thus, this is not so positive for the Singapore economy.”

Source : The Business Times, 2 February 2015