Trade-off of individual strengths for mutual benefits in the run-up to AEC
Thailand is the region’s leader in agricultural production and industrial manufacturing, while Singapore is Asean’s leader in trading and shipping products around the globe.
The third round of the Singapore-Thailand Enhanced Economic Relationship (STEER) was held in Singapore on October 14th after a suspension of almost eight years.
After meeting with Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, Commerce Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan said the two partners could cooperate in many sectors to promote economic growth between them and ASEAN.
Key industries for investment are agricultural and food products, cruises, infrastructure development, trade and customs facilitation, and information technology.
The plan will be proposed to the Singapore-Thailand Leaders’ Retreat in Singapore from November 26-27.
STEER is part of a strategy by the two governments to progress towards the AEC before 2015 and to maintain competitiveness in markets around the world.
The Commerce Ministry’s data show Singapore as Thailand’s third-largest trading partner in ASEAN after Malaysia and Indonesia.
In 2012, bilateral trade between Singapore and Thailand rose by 0.8 per cent year-on-year to S$32.2 billion.
Thailand was Singapore’s 10th largest trading partner in 2012 while Singapore was Thailand’s seventh largest trading partner.
In 2012, Singapore was also the second largest investor in Thailand, with accumulated foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$24.1 billion.
Last year, two-way trade declined by 2.82 per cent to US$18.66 billion (Bt584.2 billion), consisting of $10.83 billion in exports from Thailand to Singapore – chiefly oil, jewellery and ornaments, electronic circuits, computers and parts, as well as chemical products – and $7.83 billion in imports from the island state.