As one of the founding countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Singapore stands out as one of the biggest finance and logistics centres in the Asia-Pacific region. Singapore is one of the key players of the economic integration of ASEAN, hosting central offices of many international banks and investment institutions. The total 23 bilateral and regional free trade agreements of Singapore with 31 countries are great opportunities in and of themselves. We need to understand the free trade agreement (FTA) we signed with Singapore well as the country is, in a way, the entrance to ASEAN. The agreement covers different topics of public procurements, services, investments, intellectual property rights, and e-commerce as well as the commodity trade. We can see how important this FTA is if we look at the import potential, re-export capabilities, and logistics advantages of Singapore.
The harmonisation of origin rules through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement signed by 15 countries (ASEAN + 5) of the Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore, last November, will benefit Singapore especially in the processed food, chemical, and plastic industries. Singapore’s trade volume with RCEP countries accounts for half of its total foreign trade. As for the Turkish business world, Singapore can be a centre of the growing trade and investment opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, including RCEP and ASEAN. Singapore’s works in banking, capital markets, asset management, and insurance are also of great importance. I should also mention that they are experienced in Renminbi (RMB), the Chinese exchange system, and Islamic Finance.
Chairperson, Turkey- Singapore Business Council Süha Güçsav