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Tuesday, October 28, 1997 Published at 12:36 GMT

World: Far East

Singapore Helps Indonesia

Singapore has offered Indonesia a package of economic assistance worth ten- billion dollars to help restore confidence in the battered Indonesian economy.

President Suharto of Indonesia said the package -- offered last week by the Singaporean Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong -- would be used to help bolster Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves and when necessary to buy the Indonesian currency, the rupiah.

The BBC correspondent in Jakarta says the amount is much larger than expected.

Indonesia has been holding talks for the past two weeks with officials from the International Monetary Fund on possible economic help, but our correspondent says the IMF is believed to be asking for reforms which are proving difficult for the Indonesians to swallow.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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