Russia-Singapore Trade Ties To Boom In Wake Of Free Trade Agreement

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By Chris Devonshire-Ellis 

Singapore is Russia-business friendly with ease of bank account opening a major draw for Asian regional exports, trade and investment

A virtual meeting between Singapore’s Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko was held on Friday, (December 17) as part of the Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission.

Both leaders stated that when completed, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will make a “positive contribution” to economic relations between Russia and Singapore.

The EAEU is an economic bloc comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

Russia and Singapore said they look forward to the “expeditious completion” of the Services and Investment Agreement between the two countries – a key component of the EAEU-Singapore FTA currently being negotiated.

They noted that the total bilateral trade between both countries in the first three quarters of 2021 “increased significantly” year-on-year, with “robust” collaborations in food trade and the digital sector. In 2019, Russia exported US$2.55 billion to Singapore. During recent  years Russian exports to Singapore have increased at an annualized rate of 9.47%. In 2019, Singapore exported US$624 million of goods to Russia.

During the meeting, both countries also discussed cooperation in areas such as low-carbon solutions, including hydrogen and carbon capture, as well as utilisation and storage. They agreed to explore collaborations in the infrastructure and transport sectors.

The two also expressed interest in exploring opportunities for cooperation in relation to the Northern Sea Passage, in such areas as logistics and shipbuilding.

Both countries agreed to hold the 12th Session of the High-Level Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission in Singapore next year, with specific dates and venues to be agreed on later.

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