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  • To serve Poland – to build Europe – to understand the world

     

  • BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT

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    BILATERAL TRADE

     

    Although Singapore is a relatively small market, it is one the biggest export markets for Polish products in South-East Asia. Unfortunately, since 2015 the bilateral trade has been shrinking, mostly due to the difficult situation of the Singaporean marine and offshore industry (OME), which remains under strong pressures related to negative trends in crude oil market.

     

    Table: Poland's trade with Singapore (USD mln)

     

    2013

    2014

    2015

    2016

    2017

    Export

    734,1

    841,4

    870,2

    632,6

    241,8

    Import

    952,4

    917,1

    1 026,2

    699

    574,8

    Turnover

    1686,5

    1758,5

    1 896,4

    1 331,6

    816,7

    Balance

    -218,3

    -75,7

    -155,9

    -66,3

    -333

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Source: the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS)

     

    Traditionally Polish trade with Singapore was driven by vessels (more than 80% of Polish exports and more than 35% of its imports). In 2017, vessels still constituted the biggest category in Polish exports to Singapore, but their share dropped down to nearly 33%  and was followed by machines and mechanical and electrical equipment (25%), non-precious metal products (10,5%), mineral products (7%), agriculture and food products (6%), optical, measuring and medical instruments (4,6%), chemical industry products (3%), and plastic products (3%). Poland imports from Singapore mostly machines and mechanical and electrical equipment (59%),  chemical industry products (15%), vessels (11%), optical, measuring and medical instruments (11%), and plastic products (4%).

     

    High dependence of bilateral trade on OME has encouraged both sides to look for diversification of trade exchange. Potentially promising categories for increasing Polish exports to Singapore could be  machinery and mechanical equipment, precision instruments, furniture or food products. The construction sector and export of Polish construction materials to Singapore also belong to new and promising areas of cooperation.

     

    Further tightening of bilateral cooperation between Poland and Singapore, including in particular economic, tourist and people-to-people exchange, will be supported by the direct flight operations between Warsaw and Singapore. Such a regular air connection was launched by LOT Polish Airlines in May 2018. 

     

    BILATERAL INVESTMENT

     

    Poland, as a member of the European Union, with rapidly growing economy, large internal market and well educated and relatively inexpensive human resources, could serve as a gateway for Singaporean investors to expand further to European market. It could become a good manufacturing spot for Singaporean partners in automotive and aviation industries, a good partner for R&D in transport industry (autonomous vehicles) or an interesting location for the real estate investments (hotels, serviced apartments).

     

    In 2016, stock of direct investment by Singaporean companies in Poland accounted for slightly above 25 million US dollars, while Polish investments in Singapore reached the level of 120 million US dollars.

     

    According to the Singaporean Ministry of Trade and Industry there were nearly 100 Polish companies registered in Singapore in 2017. Growing interest from Polish companies is observed mostly in IT industry, financial innovations (fintech) and e-commerce. Some of these companies provide their services from Poland. However, more and more companies are opting to open their regional headquarters in Singapore (eg RTB House, IgoriaCards, CyberProductivity, Ailleron). Polish IT specialists (programmers) are very valuable and sought after by local employers. Big potential for cooperation also exists in the field of cyber security.

     

    The Singaporean companies in Poland invested mostly in manufacturing, transport and logistics, sales and marketing. Among the companies, which invested in Poland are APL Logistics (APLL), Hi-P International, Flex Ltd (Flextronics), Amtek Engineering, Ternary Technologies, Charles & Keith, MP & Silva or Sivantos.

     

    EU - SINGAPORE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

     

    Singapore and Poland are looking forward to the early ratification of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) to boost economic links between the two countries. 

     

    In April 2018, the European Commission presented outcome of negotiations with Singapore to the Council together with draft decisions authorizing EC to sign the agreement. Once approved by the Council, the agreement will be sent to the European Parliament, aiming for the entry into force of its trade part before the end of the current mandate of the European Commission in 2019. The investment protection part will follow its ratification procedure also at Member State level.

     

    Although Singapore already provides tariff-free access for the majority of imported goods, the excessive removal of NTBs provided by FTA can create new opportunities for Polish manufacturers,  both in our direct trade exchange with Singapore and through supply chains in Europe. Investment protection provisions, provisions on establishment and the opening of government procurement markets will allow for greater investment to flow between Singapore and Poland.

     

    Liberalization of cross-border supply of services and its indirect impact on investments can also add to the list of benefits. FTA solidifies a high level of market access for European computer service providers. Companies will be able to provide services, either from Europe, or by establishing a commercial presence in Singapore, with the same conditions that apply to local companies. The agreement also recognizes the importance of the free flow of information on the Internet, while ensuring data protection and respect for intellectual property rights. Poland, as the IT powerhouse in Europe with well-developed business services, e-commerce and fintech companies, should definitely take an advantage.

     

    The trade and investment agreements with Singapore are the EU's first completed bilateral deals with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The agreements with Singapore set up high standards and rules for negotiation of future region-to-region trade and investment agreement between the EU and ASEAN. As the role of ASEAN countries in Poland’s trade is constantly growing, the country is also interested in smooth and fast negotiations of trade agreement with the block.

     

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