Magazine article African Business

Growing Economic Relations

Magazine article African Business

Growing Economic Relations

Article excerpt

Trade between Singapore and Africa has blossomed in recent years, tripling over the last decade and now standing at an annual S$14bn ($10.9bn). Julienne Chan provides this overview.

Singapore is poised to take a significant role in Africa's development. Everyone has heard of China building a huge stake in the continent, but the island-state of Singapore is also paying close attention to fostering a strong economic partnership with Africa.

One of Singapore's key advantages is that it enjoys a very positive image across Africa. Many of the continent's leaders view Singapore's story as a development exemplar.

Last year, it was reported that there were over 60 Singaporean companies operating in more than 50 African nations.

It is generally recognised that most of the sectors in which Singapore is a world leader are in fact those sectors that Africa desperately needs to develop, such as transport infrastructure (roads, shipping, harbours, airports), power, financial services, housing and utilities.

It should also be noted that Singapore can serve as a key gateway to and from Asia for Africa. Singapore's trade with Africa has been growing relentlessly, at over 10% a year, reaching about $nbn in 2013. Singaporean FDI into Africa now stands at over $16bn.

With six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies, a population of over one billion that is expected to grow to four billion by 2100, and many other factors in its favour, Africa is poised for a breakout century.

And Singapore is poised to also seize the opportunity to establish a strong foundation for lasting partnerships.

Indeed, already a series of major Singaporean investments have been made.

Pavilion Energy, the energy arm of the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, Temasek Holdings, has won a 20% share of Tanzania's liquid natural gas with a $1.3bn bid, signing an agreement with Ophir Energy.

This deal will help Singapore diversify its supply of LNG to further help it to become one of Asia's principal gastrading hubs. …

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