Singapore, US reaffirm strong economic ties, call for greater collaboration between companies

Minister Iswaran (left) and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
Minister Iswaran (left) and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.PHOTO: MTI

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reaffirmed robust and longstanding economic ties between Singapore and the US at a bilateral meeting on Monday, the Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday (May 2).

The ministers also discussed ways to facilitate business opportunities between their companies, MTI said in a statement.

“Singapore and the US share strong and mutually beneficial economic relations, and the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) is the cornerstone of our relationship,” Mr Iswaran said during his meeting with Mr Ross at the sidelines of his visit to Los Angeles to attend the Milken InstituteGlobal Conference, according to MTI.

“We look forward to deepening our relations with the US and building on our early successes under the US-Singapore Collaboration Platform MOU.”

Minister Iswaran (second from left) at the Milken Institute Global Conference. PHOTO: MTI

The MOU, or Memorandum of Understanding, was signed between MTI and the US Department of Commerce during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s official visit to the US in 2016, noted MTI in its statement. 

It aims to deepen collaboration between US and Singapore companies in areas such as infrastructure, financial technology, smart city solutions, and e-commerce.

During his meeting with Mr Iswaran, Mr Ross invited Singapore to participate in the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit from June 18 to 20.

Singapore is an established gateway for American companies to the region, and serves as a launch-pad for American companies looking for growth opportunities in the wider South-east Asian region. 

In 2016, Singapore was the US’ largest trading partner in South-east Asia, and its 13th largest merchandise export destination globally. Bilateral goods and services trade totalled US$68 billion.

At the Milken Institute Global Conference, Mr Iswaran addressed a roundtable discussion on Asean titled “Poised for Growth: The Asean Opportunity”, and spoke on the feature panel “Global Overview: The Economic Outlook”, MTI said.

He highlighted the importance of globalisation and how free and open markets benefit companies, workers and citizens. 

The minister also met Singaporean and American businessmen based in Los Angeles, MTI said.

He was accompanied by Singapore’s Ambassador to the US Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, as well as officials from MTI and IE Singapore.