Singapore's trade with Latin America doubled the past five years and is expected to grow further with new free trade agreements.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
While China's trade with Latin America is getting most of the attention, another Asian nation is also showing strong growth in trade with the region. Singapore's trade with Latin America has been growing at almost 30 percent annually the past three years. Last year's figure was twice as high as five years earlier.
And trade is expected to grow thanks to recent and future free trade agreements with Latin America, according to John Price, president of InfoAmericas.
Singapore's ties with Latin America go beyond trade as well. Singapore is now the second-largest Asian source of foreign direct investment in Latin America, with Singaporean investments totaling $129 million in Brazil and $556 million in Mexico, according to Satvinder Singh, IE Singapore's regional director for the Americas. "Latin America is an increasingly important market for Singaporean companies," Singh said in a recent commentary (see Singapore: Latin America's Asian Partner). "At the same time, we are beginning to feel more of Latin America’s presence and interests in Asia."
Singapore's presence in Latin America includes multinational companies such as telecom equipment company Global Crossing (based in the United States, but majority-owned by Singapore Technologies Telemedia), shipping line APL (a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines) and Flextronics (which manufactures phones in Latin America and elsewhere on behalf of Nokia and other major wireless phone producers). "They have great engineering and construction firms as well [that] want to take part in the infrastructure boom in Latin America," Price says.
Keywords: Brazil, Chile, CrimsonLogic, Hüper Optik, Inter-Roller Engineering, Kaybee Group, Keppel Offshore & Marine, Peru, Petra Foods, Petrobras, PSA International, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, SCAE/Alterra Partners, Singapore Technologies Aerospace, V-Kool