The industries in Malaysia and Singapore are expected to be less affected by the current haze menace, said Moody’s Analytics economist, Alaistair Chan.

Chan said although the haze could bring negative impact to some extent, given that Malaysia’s and Singapore’s economies were export-driven, their biggest industries (manufacturing, commodities) will be little affected by the haze.

“It is hard to forecast the exact impact on Singapore and Malaysia. Although we would expect a hit to retail/entertainment spending, it could also spur growth in other areas, e.g. online sales.

“The biggest impact may be on geopolitics. For instance, it could spur Asean to pursue greater information sharing and collaboration to fix regional problems,” he said.

Chan added that tourism could take a hit but it would be less than expected.

“Most tourists booked well in advance and there are no signs of mass cancellations yet.

“It probably won’t affect future tourism given that the haze should be gone in a month,” he said.

Malaysia and Singapore were hit by the haze since more than a week now due to forest fires from Indonesia.

Singapore was worst hit last Thursday (20th June 2013) but the situation had gradually improved.

However, the menace continues to linger in Malaysia with many states including Johor, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor currently at an unhealthy level.