The Singapore advantage at work in Latin America.

Author:Ellis, Shannon
Position:A LATIN TRADE SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT - Statistical data

Latin America and Asia are growing closer each year: Trade between the two regions grew an astonishing 468% in ten years (2004-2013) and reached US$317.5 billion in 2013.

This year Singapore commemorates its 50th anniversary as an independent nation. To celebrate, we take a look at what makes this small nation so exceptional, and the role its companies are increasingly playing in Latin America. With Asia and Latin America as the two fastest growing regions in the world, there is a large wave of economic momentum for firms on both sides of the Pacific to capitalize on.

It was no easy feat for Singapore, an island with limited natural resources, to transform itself into a modern international city, fostering businesses with world leading capabilities. But that is exactly what the city-state has achieved.

In 2014, Singapore's GDP reached US$308 billion, comparable to the GDP of Chile US$258 billion and that of Colombia (US$385 billion). Singapore achieved this level of productivity with a population of 5.5 million people living on 277 square miles, a population roughly half of Bolivia's and a land area smaller than many Caribbean island states.

What Singapore lacks in size, it has made up for in a focused drive towards self-sufficiency. In sectors such as infrastructure, manufacturing, and oil & gas, Singapore companies are renowned for delivering integrated solutions, high quality products, and services.

Out of necessity owing to a small domestic market, Singapore companies are outward-looking and entrepreneurial. The citystate's expertise has been deployed across Asia, Europe, North America and, increasingly, in Latin America.

In the last five years, trade flows between Singapore and Latin America have grown significantly, reaching US$21 billion in 2014. This makes Latin America one of the fastest growing trading regions for Singapore. Four Free Trade...

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