In today’s fast changing world, entrepreneurs have become instrumental to driving growth, innovation and employment. For small nations such as Switzerland and Singapore, the opening of foreign markets to businesses is essential to ensure a well-functioning economy. To this end, Switzerland is committed to maintaining and further developing successful economic relations with Singapore.
The Swiss-Singapore trade relations have a long history. First traces of Swiss economic presence in Singapore date back to the 1860s, when Swiss trading houses began to establish branches on the island. Following the signing of the free trade agreement between Singapore and the European Free Trade Association in 2003, trade between the two countries has grown significantly. Today, practically all major Swiss manufacturers and service providers with worldwide activities are present in the lion city. Branches of Swiss companies can be found in particular in the finance and insurance sectors, but also in trade and manufacturing.
Moreover, Singapore has become attractive for small- and medium sized enterprises. In recent years, business services, fintech, medtech, foodtech, logistics and ICT investments have been growing, as many Swiss companies leverage Singapore’s position as a hub into Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific. These developments are very welcome and contribute to the deepening of Swiss-Singapore ties.
Singapore is Switzerland’s most important trading partner in South East Asia. Swiss export in goods to Singapore has been steadily increasing, amounting to over 10 billion SGD in 2021. As a result, Singapore ranks as the fourteenth largest export destination of Swiss goods worldwide. Swiss direct investment has also been rising, reaching 74 billion SGD in 2020. Accordingly, Switzerland is the 8th largest foreign investor in Singapore. Vice versa, Switzerland ranked as the 7th largest export trading partner of Singapore in services. Overall, we observe a very positive trend in our bilateral trade and investment flows.
Yet, there is still much potential for strengthening the links between the Swiss and Singapore economies. SwissCham Singapore plays a significant role in fostering such connections – in business and beyond. As the Swiss Ambassador to Singapore, I encourage Swiss and local companies as well as individuals to join SwissCham and benefit from their activities in networking, information exchange and the championing of Swiss values and quality through business. I am convinced that a strong trade and investment partnership between Switzerland and Singapore favours innovation, advances sustainable economic development, increases mutual understanding and hence, contributes to the well-being of our societies.