Singapore, one of the few countries where France still has a trade surplus

THE ECO SCAN – The President of the Republic of Singapore, Tony Tan Keng Yann on Monday began a state visit of several days to France. The opportunity to take stock of economic relations between France and the city-state of five and a half million inhabitants.

In 1965, Singapore was just a former British colony, destitute and in dire economic straits. Five decades later, the Little Republic has become one of the four Asian “dragons”. It has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world and its purchasing power (again per capita) is one of the highest in the world, behind Luxembourg and Qatar. Thanks to its proactive economic policy, Singapore has become the 2nd most competitive country in the world and the 1st financial center in Southeast Asia according to the. Politically stable and economically attractive, the Republic maintains close bilateral relations with France.

A major commercial partner for France

With a trade volume of 7.8 billion euros in 2014, according to the Singapore is the first trading partner of France in Southeast Asia and the third in Asia behind China and Japan. It is also one of the five countries with which France still has a trade surplus. In 2014 our imports amounted to 2.8 billion euros and our exports to 5 billion euros, which represents a surplus of 2.2 billion euros in 2014.The city-state ranks 4th among France’s trade surpluses in the world after the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

Cooperation between the two countries is particularly strong in the aeronautical field. is thus the second customer of the Airbus A350 with 70 orders and 20 options and of the A380 with 24 orders. The importance of exchanges there is such that pya set up a financial hub in 2014 to support the group’s financial activities in the region.

A center of attraction for companies

On the business side, 600 French subsidiaries are located in the city-state. The French Embassy indicates that these subsidiaries employ more than 40,000 people, or the equivalent of 1% of the Singaporean workforce. This is particularly the case with. The French electronics group has been present in Singapore since 1973 and has 600 employees there. In total, French investments in Singapore exceed 7.5 billion euros, or 50% of French investments in the Southeast Asian region.

This strong presence of French companies is accompanied by a growing community of French expatriates residing in Singapore. The French consulate estimates that their number has more than doubled since 2007. According to the last census, 10,000 French people reside in the city-state, 35.8% of whom are between 26 and 40 years old.

“Being in Singapore, we are at a crossroads of developing countries in Asia”

Jean-Michel Blanquer, Managing Director of Essec

A new training center for French grandes écoles

As a financial center and commercial hub, the Republic of Singapore also attracts large French schools, wishing to open their training to Asia. The opened a study campus there in 1999 where the dean of the business school has resided full time since 2013. More recently, in February 2015, the opened a new campus in Singapore with capacity for up to one thousand. students. Its managing director, Jean-Michel Blanquer on the subject of the city-state “It is a hub for the Asia Pacific region, a pivot. Being in Singapore, we are at the crossroads of developing countries in Asia ”.

The only downside is that Singapore is decried by the international community as a tax haven. His government nevertheless seems determined to come to terms with France: Minister Michel Sapin visited the archipelago in January in order to sign a Franco-Singaporean tax treaty providing for a reinforced system to fight against fraud. So many elements which announce the visit of Tony Tan Keng Yann under the best auspices.