'Expect regular disruptions in trading environment': Gan Kim Yong
Stronger links with China could help Singapore face these changes, the Minister of Trade and Industry said.
Singapore should be ready to face the continued challenges and instabilities brought by the pandemic, Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said in a speech delivered at the FutureChina Global Forum on 12 July.
“In a state of ‘Never Normal,’ we should learn to expect regular disruptions and constant shifts in our trading environment. But we need to be ever-ready for these changes. We must be nimble and ensure our supply chains remain resilient and open to one another,” Gan said.
There is a need to anticipate supply chain disruptions arising from crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and to bolster Singapore’s readiness to face future crises, he added.
“In this regard, the Southeast Asia region and China are well-placed for businesses to capture new opportunities for trade,” said Gan.
Stronger digital trade with China is amongst the ways cited by the Minister to help not only Singapore, but also the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Programmes and events in this regard include the Electronic Origin Data Exchange System under the upgraded China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the ASEAN Single Window which would be extended to dialogue partners, including China, and China's participation in the World Trade Organization Joint Statement Initiative for E-Commerce.
"Singapore and ASEAN can continue to build on our strong economic linkages with China and uncover new opportunities to enhance physical and digital trade. In doing so, Singapore and ASEAN can maintain our relevance and continue to thrive as a region," Minister Gan concluded in his speech.