Singapore, US reaffirm longstanding, strong economic ties

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met on the sidelines of the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on Monday.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met on the sidelines of the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on Monday.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY

LOS ANGELES • Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reaffirmed "robust and longstanding economic ties" at a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on Monday.

"Singapore and the US share strong and mutually beneficial economic relations, and the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement is the cornerstone of our relationship," Mr Iswaran said.

"We look forward to deepening our relations with the US and building on our early successes under the US-Singapore Collaboration Platform MOU (memorandum of understanding)."

The MOU was signed during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official visit to the United States last year with the aim of deepening collaboration between American and Singaporean companies in areas such as infrastructure, financial technology, smart city solutions and e-commerce.

Singapore is an established gateway and launch pad for American companies looking for growth opportunities in the wider South-east Asian region, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.

Mr Ross invited Singapore to participate in the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington in June, it added.


Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met on the sidelines of the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on Monday. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Singapore was the country's largest trading partner in South-east Asia last year, and its 13th largest merchandise export destination globally.

Bilateral goods and services trade totalled US$68 billion (S$94.8 billion) last year.

At the conference, Mr Iswaran spoke at a discussion on Asean, titled Poised For Growth: The Asean Opportunity and on the feature panel Global Overview: The Economic Outlook, where he highlighted the importance of globalisation and free and open markets.  

Mr Iswaran also met Singaporean and American businessmen based in Los Angeles.

Nirmal Ghosh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore, US reaffirm longstanding, strong economic ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe