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Why Singapore is a Key Trading Hub in ASEAN

Read time: 3 min.

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ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and goes way back, to 1967. The founders of this association are Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.

All of these countries have made a name for themselves throughout the world, to say the least, in various areas, fields, or domains. However, Singapore set itself apart from the other by becoming a trading hub reputed throughout all of Asia.

Nowadays, when it comes to business, economy, startups, finances, and trading – obviously, Singapore, an ASEAN country, is often mentioned alongside the most powerful nations of the world. Let’s see why!

Increasing Digital Economy

Given how the pandemic has left most conventional business operating at lower capacity, it goes without saying that the country’s digital economy has developed exponentially.

In the years prior to the pandemic, Singapore was already a key trading hub for most conventional items/services. Since these were quite big in terms of economic power, the country’s digital economy wasn’t given too much attention.

However, thanks to recent events, more than 70 companies from Singapore are now included in the top 500 firms of Asia-Pacific territory.

Continuous American Influence and Investment

The United States was, in 2019, responsible for roughly 50% more of what other Asian countries invested in Singapore – notably Texas Instruments and HP. In short, one of the country’s biggest investors is none other than the US.

On top of that, US direct investors were also among the few to support the development of Singapore’s technology sector. Now, given that this particular sector is pretty much the center of this trade hub, it grows in the eyes of other nations too.

Ultimately, it’s suspected that past and future foreign investments in Singapore are a direct way for other nations to be less dependent on the Chinese giants such as Huawei.

Multilateral Framework Participation

At the same time, Singapore doesn’t rely solely on investment from the US or from its ability to rely on China in times of need. For example, the country participates in a lot of free trade agreements that link it with other important countries in the ASEAN.

Just as stochastic is one type of trading, so is a single trade route – and Singapore is constantly looking to increase the number of such routes. As a result, the country’s main focus, despite the evolution of its tech sector, is on the supply chains. The flow of supplies and goods is continuous, thus keeping every type of business at the top of its game, so to say.

Naturally, these focus points improve the country’s standing in terms of finances and trading, with Singapore being considered a hub for traders as well.

The Bottom Line

Singapore is a key trading hub in ASEAN for many reasons. However, among the first things that made it what it is today was an economic plan/reform that got the country out of poverty.

Over the course of many years, the country and its government became increasingly pro-business and made it extremely easy for anyone to start a business there. Ultimately, we get to today, with Singapore, an ASEAN country, being a country more than just worthy to be compared with titans such as South Korea, Japan, and so on – in terms of tech and not only!

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