The Straits Times | 17 May 2022
Singapore and the Pacific Alliance ink agreement to strengthen economic ties
by Rosalind Ang
SINGAPORE - Singapore strengthened its economic ties with the Pacific Alliance (PA) with the signing of the PA-Singapore Joint Work Plan for Collaboration in Mexico on Tuesday (May 17).
Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan signed the agreement with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard.
Mexico currently holds the rotating presidency of the PA, which consists of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Taken together, the bloc has a combined gross domestic product (GDP) that makes it the eighth-largest economy in the world.
The agreement sets out initiatives of mutual interest for Singapore and the PA to work on, with target milestones and timelines to be achieved.
Among the areas for collaboration are the digital economy, technology and innovation, including in fintech and electronic payments.
Green energy and sustainability is another area identified for partnership, such as in low-carbon technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture.
Other areas include connectivity, logistics and trade facilitation, as well as business and people links.
The PA-Singapore Joint Work Plan builds on the PA-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the PA-Singapore Joint Declaration signed by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong and the trade and foreign affairs ministers of the PA at the 16th PA Summit held in January in Colombia.
The Work Plan also provides for regular dialogue and cooperation between the PA and Singapore to enhance links between both regions for long-term and enduring relations, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in a statement on Tuesday.
The PA has a combined population of 230 million and a combined GDP of more than US$2 trillion (S$2.78 trillion) in nominal terms.
The average growth of the bloc is expected to be 3.3 per cent over the next five years, compared with the regional average of 2.5 per cent.
Singapore’s trade and investment with the PA accounts for almost one-third of the Republic’s total trade and investment with Latin America, noted MTI.
There are more than 100 Singapore companies in the PA, spanning sectors such as trade, technology and innovation, and infrastructure.
Mr Tan, who is in Mexico from Sunday to Thursday (May 19), called on his counterparts from Mexico’s ministries of foreign affairs, culture, finance, agriculture and rural development, and leaders of Mexico’s Senate.
He also met Mexican companies and business leaders, as well as Singapore companies based there.
He spoke with Mexican youth and businesses at a fireside chat at Mexico’s Tec de Monterrey university.
Mr Tan is accompanied by officials from MTI and Enterprise Singapore on his visit.
Singapore companies in the Pacific Alliance include e-commerce platform Shopee, food and agri-business firm Olam International, blockchain accelerator Tribe Accelerator and technology solutions company CrimsonLogic.