Strengthening the Singapore – Japan Economic Partnership

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Strengthening the Singapore – Japan Economic Partnership

Singapore’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary and the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC 2015) are proving to be two significant events for Asia this year.

AEC 2015 aims to bring Asian countries together in order to establish a united manufacturing base with goods distributed more effectively across the region. Capital investments, reduced tariffs, free movement of skilled labor and sector liberalization are expected to create growth across the region.

The region’s logistics and financial hub, Singapore is leading the AEC 2015 initiative. The country’s involvement is testament to the vision of Singapore’s leadership and the continued efforts being made to strengthen the Singaporean economy.

Today, the port of Singapore is the second busiest container port in the world and with GPD per capita ranked amongst the world’s top five at US$ 78,763, Singapore and its people continue to prosper.

As a key regional player, Singapore has attracted a substantial amount of international and regional investment over the years. Today, Japan is Singapore’s third largest source of foreign direct investment and ties between the two countries are stronger than ever.

Economic development throughout the 1970’s saw Singapore shift from a regional manufacturing hub to a world-leading services-focused economy. Japanese companies such as Marnix Corporation, Nissay Asset Management and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) continue to strengthen their positions in Singapore.

Toru Hashimoto, President and Chief Executive Officer, Development Bank of Japan Inc.

DBJ, owned by the Government of Japan through the Ministry of Finance, provides loans to medium and large size businesses.

“Our main role is to assist Japanese companies with their cross-border mergers, acquisitions and lending activities with other Japanese and non-Japanese companies,” says Toru Hashimoto, President and Chief Executive Officer of DBJ. “The Asian economy continues to grow rapidly and today Singapore, located in the heart of Asia,has become our most important international market”.

DBJ hopes to finance the planned high-speed railway connecting Malaysia and Singapore and maintains strong relations with Singapore.

Over the last five decades, Japan and Singapore have actively built on their strong economic partnership and continue to work closely together. The Japan-Singapore Economic Agreement for a New Age Partnership (JESPA) was signed in 2001. The Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme for the 21st Century (JSPP21) provides technical assistance to other countries and is designed to promote the development of countries within ASEAN and support their regional integration efforts.

Japan and Singapore work closely together to offer a variety of technical assistance to ASEAN members on trade facilitation, maritime safety and climate change with the aim of contributing to their socio-economic development. While originally focusing on ASEAN countries, the JSPP21 has extended its reach to countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Looking to the future, as ‘Abenomics’ stimulates Japan’s economy through the ‘three arrows’ of fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms, Japanese companies are strengthening their domestic and international activities.

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With a population of over 600 million and nominal GDP of US$2.5 trillion, Japanese companies are focusing on their Asian business activities:

Electrical equipment manufacturer, Meidensha Corporation is celebrating forty years in Singapore, automation producer, CKD Corporation is commencing manufacturing in Indonesia, Daido Steel is utilizing Singapore as a research hub and industrial systems leader, TMEIC is relocating its regional headquarters to Singapore.

As Singapore celebrates fifty years of independence and the AEC 2015 initiative looks to bring together the region’s economies, Asia will remain a growth-driver for the world economy and a region renowned for cooperation and opportunity.

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