The Southeast Asia Country Series: The Republic of Singapore

In order to promote Pakistan’s trade with its non-traditional trading partners, The Pakistan Business Council (PBC) has been doing a country profile series since 2015. The Country Series aims to highlight the trade opportunities for Pakistani exporters in the featured countries. This is the third publication of the Southeast Asia Country Series and features the Republic of Singapore.

Singapore is a Southeast Asian island state and is situated at the tip of Malay Peninsula. It covers a total land area of 709 km2 and has a population of 5.61 million, 43.20 % of whom are Buddhists. Singapore’s population is ethnically diverse with Chinese being the dominant ethnic community.

With a current GDP of USD 323.91 billion, Singapore ranks as the third most competitive economy in the world. It also secured 2nd place in doing business rankings (2018). Singapore’s economy is heavily reliant on its services and manufacturing sector which contribute 74 % and 26 % to the GDP, respectively. The tourism sector is a key driver to growth as tourism receipts jumped by 4% to reach SGD 26.80 billion in 2017. Due to a friendly business climate, Singapore’s net FDI inflows totaled USD 63.63 billion in 2017.

In 2017, Singapore’s trade to GDP ratio stood at 322.43 % with total exports amounting to USD 373.25 billion while total imports were USD 327.71 billion. In addition to trade with the regional countries, Singapore’s major trading partners are China, the USA and Hong Kong. Mineral fuels, electrical machinery, and mechanical appliances are Singapore’s major exports as well as imports.

Singapore's Trade with Pakistan

Trade with Pakistan has been in favor of Singapore since 2001. As of 2017, Singapore’s exports to Pakistan amounted to USD 969.29 million while its imports from Pakistan totaled USD 69.19 million, resulting in a trade surplus of USD 900.10 million. Singapore mainly exports mechanical appliances, mineral fuels, and electrical machinery to Pakistan against imports of apparel, textile articles, mineral fuels, and pharmaceutical products. This study identifies top-25 high potential Pakistani exports to Singapore at HS-06 level, these include: medical instruments, semi-milled or wholly-milled rice, Portland cement, and T-shirts. This profile also lists Singapore’s top-25 high potential exports to Pakistan at HS-06 level, these include: gas turbines, self-propelled mechanical shovels, propylene copolymers, and motor vehicles.

The PBC is a private sector not-for-profit advocacy platform set-up in 2005 by 14 (now 75) of Pakistan’s largest businesses. PBC’s research-based advocacy supports measures which improve Pakistani industry’s regional and global competitiveness. More information about the PBC, its members, objectives and activities can be found on its website: www.pbc.org.pk.

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