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China poised to become Singapore's second largest trading partner by 2030

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SINGAPORE, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Given the size and pace of growth of the Chinese market, China will rise to become Singapore' s second largest trading partner by 2030, according to latest HSBC Global Connections report.

"Singapore's exports to Asia excluding Japan are forecast to rise by a fairly robust 7 percent a year on average during 2021 to 2030," said the report, "but the fastest growing trade routes will be with China over this period."

China's export growth has slowed, particularly for goods destined for Europe, but over the medium term, prospects for Chinese exports will continue to be brightest in the emerging market economies as demand growth remains persistently subdued in the major developed economies.

Reflecting this outlook, growth in Chinese exports is expected to be most rapid to other economies in Asia excluding Japan with an average annual pace of expansion of 15 percent a year during 2013 to 2015.

According to the forecast made by HSBC, Malaysia which is currently Singapore's largest trading partner is expected to retain its position. The various sub-regions in Asia remain Singapore's top trading partners. In contrast, the United States and the United Kingdom have both become less significant in recent times with nearly 50 percent fewer Singaporean traders doing business in the two countries.

As the demand in Euro-zone remained weak, Singapore's exports to European continent are also expected to be largely flat from 2013 to 2015, with growth subsequently recovering to just on average 3 percent annually in the decade to 2030.

The report explained that "as emerging markets in Asia move up the value chain, this growing intra-regional trade is reshaping trade routes and creating powerful networks outside of developed markets. Singapore businesses that are expanding into these emerging markets will benefit from this trend."

While a challenging 2012 has brought about less optimism amongst Singapore traders, HSBC report predicts an increase in trade for Asia in 2013, driven by emerging economies such as China and India.

Singapore as a trading hub will benefit from this trade growth, with China, India and Vietnam being her fastest growing trade routes, with India also expected to become Singapore's fifth largest trading partner by 2030.

Although Singapore will continue to be an important trade hub for the South East Asia region, and exports will continue to make up around 200 percent of Singapore's gross domestic product, the maturity of the market means Singapore will gradually lose global market share to the emerging markets. But Singapore's pre-eminence within emerging Asia in electronics, pharmaceuticals and other industries is expected to remain.

In view of the reshaping of the trade routes amid growing intra- regional trade in Asia, Singapore businesses will have to grapple with a myriad of new challenges, particularly the sheer diversity and complexity of trade flows in the region that requires financing solutions flexible enough to deal with a continually shifting trade landscape, as well as to reach into new and more complex markets.

As for outlook of China's exports, demands will continue to grow rapidly over the next twenty years, according to the HSBC Global Connections. Vietnam and India will be the fastest expanding markets for Chinese products, with annual export growth of 18 percent and 20 percent respectively from 2013 to 2015.

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