China-Singapore economic ties to expand and deepen
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is making his first visit to China after the pandemic. With China's reopening and economic rebound on track, there could be increasing cooperation opportunities between China and Singapore, Gu Qingyang, an associate professor of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at National University of Singapore, told Xinhua News Agency.
From January to February 2023, the total import and export volume of China and Singapore reached $19.5 billion, up 37.6 percent year on year, according to data from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). From 2013 to 2021, China had been Singapore's largest trading partner for nine consecutive years.
Apart from traditional industries such as financial services and infrastructure development, the two countries have expanded cooperation into areas including biotechnology, pharmaceutical manufacturing, green development, scientific and technological research and development.
In 2022, Chinese companies from various industries established their businesses in Singapore. Among them, Shein, an online fast fashion retailer, expanded investment and business scale in Singapore; NIO, an electric carmaker, listed on the Singapore Exchange; and SINOVAC, a biomedical company, announced plans to invest 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) in setting up scientific research facilities and international business headquarters in Singapore, as reported by Xinhua.
Singapore's tourism department predicts that with China's orderly resumption of outbound tourism, more Chinese tourists will be visiting Singapore. Singapore is expecting to rake in 18 billion to 21 billion Singapore dollars on tourism this year, according to the People's Daily.
Despite the pandemic, China-Singapore economic and trade cooperation have gained a strong momentum. In 2022, the total bilateral import and export volume reached $115.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 22.8 percent. Similarly, Singapore continued to maintain its position as the largest source of foreign capital in China for the 10th consecutive year in 2022, according to MOFCOM data.
Gabriel Lim, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore, said that China's accelerated economic recovery has injected important impetus into the economic growth of regional countries including Singapore. Singapore's external demand prospects are constantly improving, and the service industry will further recover, as reported by the People's Daily.
Accordingly, Selena Ling, chief economist at OCBC Bank, believes that Singapore's aviation, accommodation, art, entertainment and leisure industries can expect stronger growth.