Singapore -- Bilateral economic relations between Singapore and China are strong, and as the world continues to recover from the global economic crisis, the bilateral trade has risen more than 25 percent to S$ 95.3 billion ($74.5 billion) in 2010, Singapore minister for trade and industry Lim Hng Kiang said here on Saturday.
China is currently Singapore's third largest trading partner, second largest source of tourist arrivals and top investment destination.
Delivering a speech at a Chinese New Year reception, Lim said "looking ahead, we expect both the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement to continue to spur even stronger economic cooperation in this region."
Despite the recent global economic downturn, China remains one of the world's fastest growing economies. Its GDP grew 8.7 percent in 2009. Last month, China announced GDP growth of 10.3 percent for 2010.
"Many Singapore firms are well aware of China's immense potential as the world's largest consumer market. Over the years, many have made inroads into the Chinese market. Our early investments were mainly in the coastal cities, such as those in Jiangsu, Shandong and Guangdong. Since then, other Western and Central China regions have emerged as new growth areas and Singapore is strengthening our economic engagement in these regions too," he said.
The Singapore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SingCham) and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) are important conduits for Singapore businesses seeking to operate in China. SingCham, for example, helps to promote and develop a cohesive group of Singapore communities based in China and helps them stay connected to Singapore, Lim said at the reception hosted by SingCham and SBF.
"As China's development gathers pace, new opportunities will continue to emerge. I look forward to seeing more Singapore companies tap on organizations such as SingCham and SBF to venture further into the Chinese markets," he said.