The United States and the City-state of Singapore – Fifty Years of Close Ties

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The United States and the City-state of Singapore – Fifty Years of Close Ties

Eric Garcetti Mayor of Los Angeles

A message from Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti

“It was natural that a Los Angeles boy like myself, grew up with such an international vision because on the streets of Los Angeles, you see the face of the world every day. Los Angeles is home to people from over 115 different countries and we don’t define you by where you come from or your past, we define you by where you want to go to and your future aspirations. This is a safe place for capital and investments with strong intellectual foundations: Los Angeles is the only city in America with three top 25 universities and the only city in the world with three top 100 global universities. We are ‘Open for business’ and we want to achieve great things, so whether its infrastructure, business or investments; step up, and we’ll do it”.

With the City-state of Singapore and the United States establishing ties in 1966, this year marks fifty years of Singaporean – American diplomatic relations. Today, both nations enjoy extensive military, economic, cultural and commercial ties and benefit from continued efforts on both sides to strengthen bilateral relations.

The United States leads foreign direct investment into Singapore with over 3,700 American companies headquartered in the City-state. In 2014, bilateral investment reached over US$170billion and this figure has continued to grow across a range of sectors including education, legal services and real estate. Trade remains a key growth area and the Port of Los Angeles plays an important role in facilitating the movement of goods between Singapore and the United States.

“The Port of Los Angeles celebrates the golden anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Singapore,” says Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles’ Executive Director. “At the Port of Los Angeles, Singapore is our twelfth largest trading partner, with approximately US$2.4 billion in trade value in 2015. We value our relationship with our Singapore partners and look forward to a long and prosperous future together.”

In terms of attracting investment from Singapore to the United States, California is leading the charge. ‘The Golden State’ is today the sixth largest economy in the world (overtaking the economies of Brazil and France) and is actively engaging with Singapore – Asia’s ‘Little Red Dot’.

Gene Seroka, Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles

Gene Seroka, Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles

Port of Los Angeles photo one The Port of Los Angeles is the nation’s number one container port and leader in container volume and cargo value
The growth of the Southern Californian economy continues to attract Asian investors, including Singaporean companies. With major acquisitions in retail, residential and commercial properties, Singapore is today the largest foreign investor in Los Angeles’ property market with US$2.26billion of investments made between May 2015 and April 2016.

Real estate projects are breathing new life into downtown Los Angeles as Carol Schatz, President and CEO of the Central City Association of Los Angeles and Los Angeles’ Downtown Center Business Improvement District explains.

In terms of attracting investment from Singapore to the United States, California is leading the charge. ‘The Golden State’ is today the sixth largest economy in the world (overtaking the economies of Brazil and France) and is actively engaging with Singapore – Asia’s ‘Little Red Dot’.

The growth of the Southern Californian economy continues to attract Asian investors, including Singaporean companies. With major acquisitions in retail, residential and commercial properties, Singapore is today the largest foreign investor in Los Angeles’ property market with US$2.26billion of investments made between May 2015 and April 2016.

Real estate projects are breathing new life into downtown Los Angeles as Carol Schatz, President and CEO of the Central City Association of Los Angeles and Los Angeles’ Downtown Center Business Improvement District explains.

“As the largest Business Improvement District in Downtown LA, we are committed to ensuring all of Downtown’s neighborhoods reach their full potential as places to work, places to live, and places to play. Since our humble beginnings in 1999 when we successfully pushed for the approval of the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, which provided incentives for developers to convert abandoned office buildings into new housing, we have played a pivotal role in the transformative renaissance that has completely changed Downtown Los Angeles. Both in perception and in reality, Downtown Los Angeles is now a vibrant 24/7 metropolis on par with the world’s finest. In 1999, Downtown had a residential population of roughly 11,500. Today, Downtown has a residential population of 60,000 and is projected to surpass 75,000 within the next couple of years. There are more than 10,000 residential units currently under construction, with 4,000 of those scheduled to deliver in 2016”.

Carol E. Schatz, President and CEO Central City Association

Carol E. Schatz, President and CEO Central City Association

Gary L. Toebben, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Gary L. Toebben, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

“As the Downtown residential population has grown, so too have all the hip new restaurants, retailers, bars, and entertainment venues. Downtown Los Angeles is now the epicenter of all that is exciting and new culturally and entertainment-wise in Los Angeles. Furthermore, there is an incredible new wave of creative and technology businesses looking to take advantage of this thriving new marketplace. These growing companies are relocating and expanding in Downtown Los Angeles and we expect that momentum to continue. Moving forward, we will continue to invite businesses, investors and potential residents from around the world to take a look and experience the new Downtown Los Angeles. We are confident they will discover a world-class city as extraordinary and incomparable as only Los Angeles can be”.

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has been supporting Los Angeles based companies for almost 130 years. As businesses in Downtown Los Angeles and across the city position themselves for future growth, the Chamber continues to support business success.

“Established in 1888, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has grown to become the largest business organization in Southern California”, says Gary L. Toebben, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We work closely with business, government and the community to champion economic prosperity. The Los Angeles area has a thriving economy based on our strong port capabilities, healthy financial sector, significant investments from Asia and the City’s thriving start-up business culture. Of the top twenty United States customs districts, Los Angeles ranks number one with forty percent of all imports into the United States arriving through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Alameda Corridor, a ground transportation system operated by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, facilitates the movement of goods in the port area and on to destinations across the country. Los Angeles also has a strong education sector with world-class universities which continue to attract students from Asia, including many students from Singapore. With our significant number of Consulates and international business organizations, we are closely tied to international markets and ongoing developments in global trade. Businesses in the Los Angeles area understand the importance of doing business with Asia, and Singapore continues to play an important role as we build on recent trade delegations and future collaborations between Los Angeles, Singapore and the vibrant Asian marketplace”.
Port of Los Angeles photo two

The Port of Los Angeles is the nation’s number one container port and leader in container volume and cargo value.

As the United States’ higher education sector continues to thrive, the number of Singaporeans enrolled in North American educational institutions has grown by eighteen per cent since 2010, according to US Embassy figures.

In line with the two countries’ continued efforts to strengthen their friendship in this fiftieth anniversary year, this month saw Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong make an official visit to Washington DC at the invitation of President Barack Obama. This gesture symbolizes the continued mutual respect and friendship shared by Singapore and the United States as the two countries look towards their next fifty years of close ties.

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