Seminar on "Enhancing Malaysia - Singapore Business Cooperation", Singapore, Thursday 1 August 2002, 10.00 am The presence here today of a large number of participants at this Seminar is a reflection of the continued strong interest of the Singaporean business community on collaboration with Malaysia in the economic sector. While there are reports of apparent differences between Malaysia and Singapore at the political level, the fact remains that the Malaysian and Singaporean economies are closely intertwined and both countries have benefited from this close relationship. Being close neighbours, there are bound to be differences on various issues from time to time. This however, has not and should not affect the development of the close business collaboration between the private sectors of both our countries. The recent visit of the Singapore Trade Minister to Malaysia with a business delegation and the Seminar here today reflect the efforts by both countries to enhance private sector collaboration in trade and investment. It is the aim of this Seminar to update the Singapore business community here on the latest developments in Malaysia and the business and investment opportunities available in Malaysia.
Malaysia and Singapore Economic Cooperation The strong economic relationship between Malaysia and Singapore is reflected in the extensive linkages between both countries such as in trade and Investment, financial services and tourism. A large number of Malaysian are also working and resident in Singapore. It is recognized that there are areas in which we compete, for example, in port and airport development, but there are also many areas where we complement one another. Malaysia needs to develop our own infrastructure facilities, such as ports and airports, to cater to our own domestic requirements. In the long run, with the expansion and growth of ASEAN as an entity and our global trade, there would be sufficient demand for these infrastructural facilities of both countries. The healthy competition that exists between Malaysia and Singapore, particularly in the economic sector, spurs both countries to higher levels of excellence and enhances ASAN competitiveness, with Singapore and Malaysia being the anchor countries in the region. There already exists strong trade links between the two countries. Singapore was Malaysia's third largest trading partner in 2001. The republic was Malaysia's second
largest export destination, after the USA. Malaysia's exports to Singapore accounted for 17.0% of its global exports last year. For the period January - June 2002, Malaysia's exports to Singapore amounted to US$7.71 billion while imports amounted US$4.67 billion. Singapore was the third largest source of imports for Malaysia in 2001. Malaysia's imports from Singapore accounted for 12.6% of its global imports. In 2001, from Singapore's perspective, Malaysia was its largest trading partner accounting for 17.3% of its global trade and its largest export destination and source of imports. It is significant that Malaysia has overtaken the USA as Singapore's major trading partner from the 3rd quarter of 2000. Not all of Malaysia's exports to Singapore are for consumption in Singapore. A substantial amount of the exports are destined for third countries. Malaysian and Singaporean companies can intensify collaboration to further enhance exports to third countries. The presence of a large number of International Buying Houses in Singapore provides opportunities for Malaysian manufacturers to market the products globally. Close linkages between Malaysia and Singapore are also seen in the manufacturing sector. Singapore has consistently been among the top 5 investors in the Malaysian manufacturing sector. For the period 2001-June 2002, Singapore was the largest investor in terms of the number of projects approved. Singapore ranked 5th in terms of approved investments for the period concerned.
2001-June 2002 No. of projects : 222...
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