Russia Singapore Trade Relationship Provides New Opportunities
10/07/2021, Singapore // PRODIGY: Feature Story //
Singapore has always occupied a unique space in Southeast Asian trade and diplomacy. The tiny city-state has grown up to far outpunch its weight in regional and even global markets. It is a singular oasis of finance, innovation, and wealth, in an area mired in the stalled development and broken political economies of the Global South.
Hand-in-hand with Singapore’s advanced development has come a role as a regional mediator as Singapore maintains friendly relations with nations across the globe. One surprising partner in the last few years has been Russia. Since the emergence of Russia as a leader in central and eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia and Singapore have long maintained friendly relations.
Looking at long-term economic data from the OEC, one finds that Russian exports to Singapore have grown from US $291 million in 1995 to US $2.55 billion in 2019, of which just under US $2 billion was petroleum. An annualized rate of 9.47%. However, this long-term statistic does not reveal that current trade is actually down significantly from a peak in 2014, when Russia exported more than US $4 billion dollars of petroleum to Singapore, and total exports were more than US $6 billion. Russian exports of petroleum products have dipped but still outpace all other sales as the economic relationship begins to rebound in a period of post-Covid growth.
Singapore’s main exports to Russia are fabricated construction and electronic products, especially navigation equipment, which made up 16.5% of exports to Russia in 2019. Exports totaled US $624 million that year. While that number is down from the 2017 peak at just above a billion dollars, the market for Singaporean industrial and consumer goods remains strong and will provide an opportunity for future long-term growth.
Steven T. Atlas of Kindt Philipp Atlas LLC, an international tax and investment law firm based in Singapore, believes that stability is key to the relationship. He said “Russian President Vladimir Putin and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have both been in power for more than 15 years. They prioritize political stability as well as economic stability. They understand each other, and while Singapore continues to be an excellent and growing market for Russian petroleum and other raw materials, Russia’s position as an export market for Singaporean goods looks ready to skyrocket.”
As 2021 winds down and 2022 pokes its head around the corner, investors around the world are looking to Singapore’s strong export trends and hoping to catch the next big wave. They could do worse than to follow the trends of Russia – Singapore trade relations.
Name: Steven T. Atlas
Organization: Kindt Philipp Atlas LLC
Release ID: 41749