Singapore’s Lee Says Asia’s Buffered From Rice Price

03May08

Bloomberg story on rice prices in Asia, with quotes from Lee. This appears to use material from the April 29 interview with Bloomberg TV, but video of the portions of the interview covering food prices is not available online. Why?

Soaring rice prices are less likely to cause instability in China, India and other major Asian economies because they are buffered by domestic production of the cereal, Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said. … Deadly food riots, such as those in Egypt, Haiti and Cameroon this year, aren’t likely to occur in Asia, Lee said.

“I don’t think it will crop up in the big countries — China, Vietnam, India,” Lee, 84, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “I do not see rice as a big issue for the Asian countries, the big Asian countries where you could have upheavals.”

The Philippines may be more prone to civil disturbances because of its need to purchase rice on the international market to bolster its own stockpiles, said Lee, considered the founder of modern Singapore. Even so, “the Philippines should be able to manage this,” he said.



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