We had the opportunity to listen to the business experiences of Alvimedica, Atlas Marine Valves, Altıparmak Gıda and Rapsodo Spor Teknolojileri in Singapore at the conference organized by Istanbul Sanayi Odası in Turkey. The presentations and information shared by the Turkish Ambassador in Singapore, Singapore Ambassador in Ankara, Turkish Commercial Attache in Singapore and the Region Director of Singapore Enterprise were very fruitful and insightful.
Singapore, located at the heart of Asia, with easy access to sea and air transportation and having free trade agreements with more than 30 countries around the world, is one of the fastest growing hubs in the region. Singapore ranks high in ease of doing business, IP rights protection, transparency in regulations and has a stable economy and lower tax rates. Singapore provides a well educated and trained white collar employee base while the cost of production, service and employment are higher than world averages, and companies need to keep in mind cultural differences. During the seminar it was mentioned that Singapore is a global leader in key commodity sectors, currently being the 4th largest trading hub for energy and 2nd largest trading hub in metals and agriculture.
Singapore has a free trade agreement with Turkey since 2017 and the country poses great opportunities for Turkish companies both looking to invest in Singapore and for aiming to grow their business in the ASEAN region and the close by geographies. Currently, the top exports from Turkey to Singapore are iron and steel bars/rods, petroleum oils, articles of jewelry and precious metals, while the top imports from Singapore to Turkey are pharmaceuticals, turbo jets and propeller parts, aluminium and electronic integrated circuits.
The 10 ASEAN countries are made up of a population of 647 million and a total GDP of more than 3 trillion USD. Singapore is also a part of RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) which was signed in November 2020 and is the world’s largest trading bloc. RCEP was signed between ASEAN states, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand with members making up a third of world’s population and almost 30% of global GDP.