Singapore Business Review - - FIRST -

At a time when Sin­ga­pore was lit­tle more than a bar­ren South­east Asian is­land, the United States was amongst the first coun­tries to in­vest in the na­tion’s budding man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try. Since then, the US has emerged as Sin­ga­pore’s largest source of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment, with US com­pa­nies ac­count­ing for more than 20% of all FDI in the na­tion. US com­pa­nies also in­vest more in Sin­ga­pore than in all other Asian com­pa­nies com­bined. To­day, the two coun­tries have moved past trade part­ner­ships and are work­ing to­gether to fos­ter se­cu­rity, in­no­va­tion, and growth. Sin­ga­pore

Busi­ness Re­view spoke with Stephanie Syptak-ram­nath, Chargé d’af­faires, a.i., US Em­bassy in Sin­ga­pore, to uncover the ben­e­fits that US trade and in­vest­ment brings to Sin­ga­pore and the fu­ture of the part­ner­ship be­tween both na­tions.

What is the cur­rent state of eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween Sin­ga­pore and the United States?

The United States is by far the largest sin­gle coun­try investor in Sin­ga­pore, with di­rect in­vest­ments in Sin­ga­pore worth over US$244B. In the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, US FDI in Sin­ga­pore is al­most 50% more than all Asian in­vest­ment in that in­dus­try. Turn­ing to fi­nan­cial and in­surance ser­vices, US in­vest­ment is 60% larger than that of the EU, which is the sec­ond largest investor in that sec­tor. The num­ber of US com­pa­nies in Sin­ga­pore con­tin­ues to in­crease at an en­cour­ag­ing rate. In the past three years, the num­ber of Amer­i­can com­pa­nies reg­is­tered in Sin­ga­pore has grown by al­most 20% from 3,800 to 4,500. More­over, our com­pa­nies don’t only bring in­vest­ments, they also bring jobs, train­ing, men­tor­ship, and cor­po­rate ex­cel­lence to all that they do. From con­sult­ing to fi­nance, US multi­na­tion­als alone em­ploy nearly 200,000 em­ploy­ees in Sin­ga­pore. Our ro­bust trade re­la­tion­ship with Sin­ga­pore also sup­ports over 250,000 jobs in the United States and ap­prox­i­mately 36,000 Amer­i­cans are em­ployed by Singaporea­n com­pa­nies.

Any trade and in­vest­ment events that Sin­ga­pore com­pa­nies can get in­volved in?

The US-ASEAN Smart Cities Part­ner­ship (USACP) is a re­spon­sive, multi-year commitment that will ben­e­fit the ASEAN Smart Cities Net­work (ASCN), which started in Sin­ga­pore dur­ing its Chair­man­ship year of ASEAN, by ad­dress­ing smart city chal­lenges across a range of sec­tors, espe­cially in the ar­eas of in­fra­struc­ture, en­ergy, and in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy.

US Em­bassy Sin­ga­pore’s Com­mer­cial Ser­vice Sec­tion and Amer­i­can com­pa­nies will also be ac­tive with the fol­low­ing trade shows in Sin­ga­pore: Con­nectecha­sia (18-20 June), ITB Asia 2019 (16-18 Oc­to­ber), Sin­ga­pore Fin­tech Fes­ti­val (11-15 Novem­ber).

Stephanie Syptak-ram­nath

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