Global Business

Expanding Into Singapore, ASEAN and Beyond

A new trade agreement between Singapore and the European Union opens more doors for trade, especially for German companies looking to expand into the larger Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market.


Germany and Singapore have long held a mutually beneficial and productive trade relationship. German companies export a diverse crop of material goods to Singapore, including soap, office furniture, electronic components and PVC components1.

Due to its state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities, Singapore represents a solid launching point for small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to enter the ASEAN market. And now, thanks to the EU’s new free-trade agreement with Singapore, it has become easier and more cost-effective for German companies to do business in the country. Not only does the agreement make it easier for German and EU firms to increase exports to Singapore, but it opens Singapore’s markets for government contracts2.

The new EU-Singapore trade agreement also:

  • Removes all remaining tariffs on EU products entering Singapore4
  • Opens opportunities for EU service providers, including those in computing and telecommunications4
  • Removes key regulatory obstacles, especially for car makers4

An Ideal Trading Relationship

A Gateway to a Region

Since beginning trade talks with Singapore in March 2010, the EU has also begun negotiating with other ASEAN nations, including Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. This bodes well for German companies looking to Singapore as a base of operations to expand into the larger ASEAN market.

Strides toward individual trade deals—as well as regional integration—have been made, but the ASEAN organization consists of 10 disparate nations, all in various states of economic maturity. The result is a daunting patchwork of national regulations and currency controls, as well as foreign exchange risks. The transaction costs and regulatory requirements of an integrated banking structure can prove intimidating for companies looking to do business across the region.

ASEAN by the Numbers3

  • $2.7 trillion annual GDP
  • 5.5 percent average annual GDP growth since 2002
  • 650 million people
  • No. 3 trading partner to the EU outside Europe
  • No. 3 source of economic growth in Asia

J.P. Morgan in Asia

J.P. Morgan has operated in Asia Pacific since 1872, and today is present across 17 markets in the region. Clients rely on our global strength, local expertise and leadership across our lines of business. We serve clients from middle market companies to large multinationals, scaling our solutions to support every stage of business growth. Established in 1964, the firm’s Singapore office is a full-service, fully integrated provider of Corporate and Investment Banking, Commercial Banking, Asset Management and Private Banking.

Whether you’re looking to establish local production facilities or add a vendor to your global supply chain, J.P. Morgan can help you explore potential opportunities in Singapore.

To learn more about J.P. Morgan’s international banking services, contact a banker today:

 

Bernhard Brinker, Managing Director,
Head of Corporate Client Banking, Germany
bernhard.brinker@jpmorgan.com

Bernhard Brinker

Bernhard Brinker, Managing Director,
Head of Corporate Client Banking, Germany
bernhard.brinker@jpmorgan.com

Ramesh Swamy, Managing Director, Head of International Banking,
Singapore and ASEAN
ramesh.swamy@jpmorgan.com

Ramesh Swamy

Ramesh Swamy, Managing Director, Head of International Banking,
Singapore and ASEAN
ramesh.swamy@jpmorgan.com

Viktoria Boecker,
Head of Treasury Management,
Germany
viktoria.boecker@jpmorgan.com

Viktoria Boecker

Viktoria Boecker,
Head of Treasury Management,
Germany
viktoria.boecker@jpmorgan.com

1.EU-Singapore - a boost for jobs and exports in Germany, European Commission
2.Guide to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and Investment Protection Agreement, European Commission
3.In figures: The EU’s trade and investment relationship with Singapore, European Commission
4.EU-Singapore trade agreement enters into force, European Commission
5.Germany and Singapore: bilateral relations, German Federal Foreign Office
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