Singapore is one of the wealthiest countries in Asia. With only sparse natural resources, the island nation has instead strategically positioned itself as a leading transportation hub, both by sea and air. Trade is a critical driver to their economy and is valued at an astounding 320% of their GDP. With the world average sitting at around 60% (Canada is just under 70%), it’s easy to see why Singapore’s wealth is intrinsically linked to trade. While it’s a destination market in its own right, its value increases exponentially when you consider its trade linkages throughout Asia. Singapore has more than 23 free trade agreements, including deals with India and China. Canada and Singapore are both members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), so if you haven’t yet considered this market in your export plans, it’s time to take a closer look. Here are some key market highlights provided by our expert panellists during the recent webinar, Singapore: Your gateway to Asia-Pacific markets

Top 10 takeaways

1. World’s largest trans-shipment hub 

Possessing the best transportation and logistics infrastructure in the world, Singapore draws multinationals from beyond Asia to use their facilities to ship products throughout the region. Singapore is linked to 600 ports in more than 120 countries; the Changi Airport Singapore is linked to 300 cities in 70 countries.

2. Canadian export potential in Singapore

The International Trade Centre identifies considerable potential for more Canadian exports to Singapore in these sectors:

  • Aircraft and parts
  • Motor vehicles
  • Plastics and rubber
  • Nickel
  • Gold
  •  Pork

3. Seafood growth at high tide

The past five years have seen impressive double-digit growth of fresh and processed seafood, as well as aquaculture exports. Demand will continue to rise with the reduction and elimination of tariffs through the CPTPP.

4. MICE in Singapore

Not only is Singapore a leading transportation hub, it’s also the third-largest financial centre in the world, not to mention a premiere destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE). Check out our webinar to find out which key trade shows you should attend.

5. Bilateral trade and investment relationship

Bilateral trade is evenly matched with Canadian exports in excess of $1.2 billion and Canadian imports inching towards $1.3 billion. Singapore is Canada’s largest source of international investment from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA) to Singapore reached just under $6 billion, making it the largest destination for CDIA in the region. (Based on 2018 figures.)

6. EDC’s key client connections

EDC has forged supply-chain linkages with Singapore’s strongest corporates. Through our Business Connection Program, we can introduce qualified Canadian companies to Singaporean buyers. Currently, we have financing connections with:

7. Significant growth sectors

Singapore is a forward-thinking nation dedicated to exploring technologies that enhance its global connectivity. Areas of significant future growth include:

  • Infrastructure (including Smart Cities)
  • Renewable energy
  • FinTech
  • Advanced manufacturing

8. Financing and insurance solutions

EDC can help you do business in Singapore by providing credit insurance. Not only will you ensure you get paid by your international buyer, you can offer them more competitive terms and leverage your insured accounts receivables to raise more working capital. We can help finance your international expansion plans through direct lending, or provide financing to your international buyer. Last year alone, we helped 282 Canadian companies do business in Singapore, 142 of which were small- and medium-sized businesses. We provided $455 million in financing and facilitated close to $1.5 billion in total business volume.

9. Open and diversified economy with a business-friendly environment

Ranked second globally by the World Bank for ease of doing business (Canada is 22nd), Singapore is characterized by a highly transparent and efficient legal and institutional framework. Their civil service is well-organized, implementing pro-business government policies that include a strong intellectual property protection regime.

10. TCS and CanExport

The Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) has more than 1,000 trade professionals operating in 160-plus markets globally. With eight trade commissioners in Singapore, they’re ready to help you scope out your opportunities and introduce you to agents, distributors and every other player you’ll need in your trade network. Keep in mind, the CanExport Program provides financial support for a wide range of export marketing activities to small- and medium-sized Canadian businesses looking to pursue opportunities in Singapore and other new markets.