Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Lim Hng Kiang ac­knowl­edges Nor­way as a trusted part­ner

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents -

Nor­way is Sin­ga­pore’s eighth­largest trad­ing part­ner in Europe, and its fourth-largest in­vestor from that con­ti­nent. Nor­we­gian for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in Sin­ga­pore as of 2014 was SGD 23 bil­lion.

“Sin­ga­pore is home to the largest con­cen­tra­tion of Nor­we­gian busi­nesses in Asia. DNV GL, the world’s largest marine and off­shore clas­si­fi­ca­tion so­ci­ety, launched its first in­de­pen­dent test cen­tre for sub­sta­tion au­toma­tion out­side of Europe in Sin­ga­pore,” he said.

“Kongs­berg has its re­gional head­quar­ters in Sin­ga­pore for deal­ing with aero­space and off­shore oil and gas in Asia.”

Both coun­tries have ben­e­fit­ted from a Euro­pean Free Trade As­so­ci­a­tion (EFTA) trade agree­ment, with total trade last year reach­ing al­most SGD 10 bil­lion. Sin­ga­pore is the largest trad­ing part­ner for both Nor­way and EFTA in ASEAN, mak­ing it the gate­way to the re­gion.

“The global eco­nomic slow­down has prompted com­pa­nies to look to ASEAN as its out­look re­mains rel­a­tively op­ti­mistic,” said Mr Lim. “The Asian Devel­op­ment Bank pre­dicts the mid­dle class will rise from 24% of the pop­u­la­tion in ASEAN in 2010 to 65% in 2030.”

“South­east Asia is be­com­ing per­haps the most ex­cit­ing fi­nal de­mand mar­ket in the world.

“The ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity [ AEC] will make the re­gion a more com­pelling mar­ket and pro­duc­tion base. The AEC pro­motes greater eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion among ASEAN mem­ber coun­tries, mak­ing it eas­ier to do busi­ness.

“But South­east Asia re­mains a mix of unique cul­tures with dif­fer­ing lev­els of devel­op­ment. Sin­ga­pore’s proven track record of do­ing busi­ness with Nor­way makes it a nat­u­ral part­ner to help Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies nav­i­gate the com­plex­i­ties of the re­gion’s mar­kets.”

He de­scribed Sin­ga­pore as a re­li­able launch­pad to man­age re­gional op­er­a­tions with its ro­bust in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty regime, trans­par­ent gov­ern­ment, and con­sis­tent and pre­dictable pro-busi­ness poli­cies. Sin­ga­pore’s ar­range­ment of 21 free­trade agree­ments can help Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies gain pref­er­en­tial ac­cess to mar­kets in Asia and be­yond, said Mr Lim.

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