Located in the centre of South East Asia and with a population
of 5.5 million people, Singapore has established itself as a
leading global commodities hub. What does Singapore offer global
Ease of conducting business
For the last eight years Singapore has been recognised by the
World Bank as the world's easiest place to conduct business.
This result takes into account its political stability, freedom of
trade, regulatory efficiency as well as one of Asia's best
intellectual property rights regimes.
At the heart of Asia's trading routes
Geographically, Singapore is at the heart of Asia's trading
routes. It is the world's leading bunkering port and second
largest container port. Approximately 58 licensed bunker traders (
1) supply 42 million metric tons per year. This is more than four
times that of Rotterdam, Europe's largest supplier. Its
location also means it is in the same time zone as China and
Western Australia, and within 2.5 hours of India and Sydney. This
benefits those based in Singapore, who are able to conduct APAC
trade within convenient times for a large part of the global
Home to global trading talent
Singapore is home to 14,000 people who operate across the
commodities sector, providing some of the world's major trading
and commodities services talent. It holds some of the world's
largest commodity trading companies, who generate more than USD 1
trillion in annual turnover. This includes 80% of the world's
top metals & mining and oil & gas companies. Of the 400
trading firms in Singapore, 35% of them place one or more C-level
positions in Singapore (2).
Promoting international trade
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is a government body
established with the aim of promoting international trade and
partnering Singapore companies in going global. IE Singapore work
with commodities traders to establish their global or Asian base in
Singapore, and at the same time partners service providers
(including lawyers) to create a vibrant and conducive trading
environment in Singapore.
A recent example was how IE Singapore worked together with ISTA
to create a Singapore based branch of the association to support
companies and persons engaged in the trade of and service to the
steel and steel-making raw materials sector. The establishment of
ISTA's Singapore based branch was supported by Clyde &
Recent reports suggest that Singapore is likely to be affected
by the recent end to the supercycle and bearish markets seen across
most commodities. However, with its extensive network of players
along the commodity supply chain, logistics, financing, specialised
legal service and other ancillary services, Singapore is likely to
remain an effective marketplace for traders to structure deals.
With Asia forecasted to account for 60% of the world's increase
in global trade until 2020, it would seem that Singapore is best
placed to weather the storm.
1. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
2. Unless otherwise specified, statistics are taken from
International Enterprise Singapore website
One of the biggest issues that continues to stress the banking sector as of date is the mounting number of non performing assets.
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