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Economy

ASEAN exports and consumption are up, but for how long?

Positive outcomes depend on good government policy and regional security

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A ship prepares to dock at PSA's Tanjong Pagar container port in Singapore.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE/MANILA One weekend in late May, car dealerships in Singapore's Queenstown were packed with families and middle-aged couples hunting for new cars. Brochures in hand, a 50-year-old businessman had been visiting showrooms of upscale brands such as BMW and Volvo, looking for a second auto.

Singapore limits the number of cars people can own, and purchasing one, regardless of type, is costly enough. But owning two means you are living large. "I can't afford a BMW unless I have some money to spare like I do now," the man said. "I will decide which car to buy the next time I come to the showrooms."

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