IBTimes UK

Singapore has said it suffered losses of about S$700 million due to large-scale haze that enveloped the city state during 2015.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said on Tuesday greater bilateral cooperation was required to address this annual hazard.

"We cannot have just one approach to address the problem. One of these approaches that we're trying to commit is the bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Singapore," he told Channel NewsAsia.

The haze last year was particularly bad due to the prolonged dry season caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon.

Thick smoke from fires in the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo islands, engulfed the city state for days on end.

The minister's revelation came even as Indonesia warned that it expects dryer than normal weather this season.

The country's weather agency BMKG said the summer will be harsh in several fire and haze-prone regions in western and central Indonesia in March and April, AsiaOne reported.

Choking smog drifts off into Singapore and Malaysian cities, sometimes even up to Taiwan and Bangkok, every year as farmers start fires to clear land for palm oil plantations.

"In this aspect, we have been asking them to officially provide us the names of the directors of companies, as well as the locations where these fires have occurred, so that the companies can be put to task, particularly if the haze has affected Singapore," the minister said in London, where he si taking part in the Sustainability Summit organised by The Economist.

Here's a Reuters Factbox that gives a detailed account of the cost of Indonesia fires every year.