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China No. 1 trade partner of Singapore in 2013

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SINGAPORE, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- China was Singapore's No. 1 trading partner in 2013, with bilateral trade of 115.2 billion Singapore dollars (91.4 billion U.S. dollars), up 11 percent on year and surpassing Malaysia, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore released the data on Thursday.

The bilateral trade between China and Singapore accounted for 11.8 percent of Singapore's total trade, followed by Malaysia and the 28 EU member states (EU28) with the proportion of 11.6 percent and 9.9 percent respectively.

As for Singapore's non-oil domestic export (NODX), a key gauge of the export performance of the small and highly open economy, China was also the No. 1 market, with trade valuing at 23.5 billion Singapore dollars (18.65 billion U.S. dollars). The No. 1 market of Singapore's NODX in 2012 was the EU 28.

According to IE Singapore, the total trade for last year eased by 0.5 percent to 980.2 billion Singapore dollars (777.9 billion U. S. dollars). The decline in trade fell short of previously projected forecast range of between 1.0 and 2.0 percent. The 0.5 percent contraction was also weaker than the 1.1 percent increase in the previous year.

The NODX shrank 6 percent last year, after the preceding year's marginal increase of 0.5 percent, due to lower exports of both electronic and non-electronic NODX. The 6.0 percent decrease was also lower than the projection of a 4.0 to 5.0 percent contraction over the year.

In particular, electronic NODX declined by 11.3 percent in 2013, following the 4.1 percent contraction in the previous year. Meanwhile, non-electronic NODX decreased by 3.3 percent last year, after expanding by 3.0 percent in 2012.

But the contraction is moderating. NODX shrank 2.1 percent on year in fourth quarter last year, a smaller contraction than the 3. 6 percent drop in the third quarter.

NODX to all top markets, except China's mainland and China's Taiwan, declined in 2013. The biggest contributors to the contraction were the EU 28, South Korea and Malaysia.

IE Singapore maintained its projections for both total trade and NODX at between 1.0 and 3.0 percent in 2014.

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