Singapore Donates Medical Supplies to ASEAN

Singapore Donates Medical Supplies to ASEAN

Singapore's Prime Minister Hsien Loong in late 2021 revealed that announced that the country would contribute a whopping S$7.9 million in medical supplies to a regional emergency stockpile. ASEAN Secretary-General Sutherland stressed the importance of regional cooperation to "emerge stronger and more resilient" after the COVID-19 pandemic in his remarks at the video-conferenced summit. It declares that it fully supports ASEAN's efforts to prepare for future public health emergencies. He also stated that "we will contribute S$7.9 million in medical supplies to the ASEAN Regional Medical Supply Reserve." Mr. Lee emphasized the importance of ratifying the RCEP, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in these "difficult times". The RCEP will help the region's post-pandemic economic recovery by boosting regional trade and investment confidence. Mr. Lee stated that ASEAN countries must gradually open their economies and restore travel safety to control COVID-19. According to him, living with COVID-19 is a significant aspect of the disease. Singapore has established vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) for fully vaccinated visitors to avoid quarantine. Mr. Lee said, "We applaud the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework's adoption and the development of interoperable digital solutions." We also support the creation of digital health certificates as proof of testing and vaccination and mutual recognition of such certificates, which will make travel much more accessible.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues two years after it began, Mr. Lee stressed that ASEAN countries must work together to improve vaccine access. Breaking the viral transmission chain is critical, but preventing severe illnesses and deaths is even more critical. Singapore is committed to vaccine multilateralism in her role as Chairperson of the COVAX Facility, ensuring all countries have equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Through the COVAX Facility, Singapore has donated its vaccine allocation to other countries, and Mr. Lee praised ASEAN for purchasing the region's vaccines using the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund. Mr. Lee says that ensuring the timely and equitable distribution of vaccines across the region is a top priority for Singapore. We're also planning three new vaccine manufacturing facilities to expand our vaccine manufacturing capabilities. COVID-19, according to Mr. Lee, has been tamed. This is one difficulty that comes with having COVID-19.

Assemblies and the other ASEAN Member States will receive Singapore's allotment. Singapore is ready to work with ASEAN members to ensure timely and equitable vaccine distribution. "We're building three new vaccine production facilities and expanding our cold chain logistics services, for example." Mr. Lee also stated that ASEAN countries must look ahead and strengthen cooperation in new growth areas like digitalization and ICT. "COVID-19 has boosted digital transformation in business and society." To build a more sustainable future, existing mechanisms like the ASEAN Smart Cities Network should be used to share experiences and best practices. More reliance on technology necessitates more robust cyber-security measures, he said. "Securing critical information infrastructure and implementing capacity-building programs, such as the ASEAN-Singapore Cyber-security Centre of Excellence." During the 39th ASEAN Summit, Mr. Lee addressed US-China relations. He said ASEAN had a "tumultuous" year and will face complex challenges from geopolitical tensions and significant power competition. "We must be able to meet these challenges. ASEAN must remain a hub of cooperation and trust, even with major powers. It must remain the hub of an open and inclusive regional architecture."

For many years, he said the US-China relationship would be a "decisive factor" in regional and global peace and stability. Like most other countries in the region, Singapore seeks good relations with both the US and China, Mr. Lee said. "We don't want the region to become a hotbed of rivalries and conflicts. On the other hand, we hope the US and China will keep substantive engagement with countries in the region on their own merits, rather than as competitors." La contribution de la Chine au COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund was also mentioned by Mr. Lee at the ASEAN-China summit later that day. Mr. Lee believes ASEAN and the US should work together on digital infrastructure, cyber-security, and climate change. A digital economy worth US$200 billion by 2025, Mr. Lee stated at the 9th ASEAN-US summit, presenting opportunities for both American and ASEAN businesses to collaborate and ride this wave. "Likewise, we can work together to create green, sustainable economies. Climate change threatens humanity's survival" Lee clarified. The April Leaders' Climate Summit was a great idea, and I look forward to discussing it at COP26 next week.

Positive Prospects for Stocks

Positive Prospects for Stocks

A few months ago, the Taiwanese stocks continued with their fifth session win which reflected the progress of the country's vaccination. On the other hand, equities in Singapore were slowing down as traders avoided risk exposure after the speech of Fed Chair Jerome Powell Jackson Hole. After rallying for the majority of the week, the majority of emerging Asian equity markets closed flat or lower for months, as investors got alarmed by Fed officials urging the central bank to begin tapering bond purchases. Powell was earlier scheduled to address the Federal Reserve's annual symposium (1400 GMT). Singapore's stock market index fell to a three-month low. "The fear of a 'taper tantrum' has resurfaced, and we head into the weekend with the Middle East geopolitical risk on the rise," said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets. The Philippine peso fell 0.3 per cent against the dollar earlier in the day before recouping some of its losses. "The Philippine peso opened lower today as a result of government comments implying a significantly longer period of subdued activity," said Nicholas Mapa, senior economist at ING.

According to local media reports, Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning Karl Kendrick Chua predicted that the Philippines' GDP would return to pre-COVID levels as early as 2023. According to Mapa, the peso's volatility is also a result of foreign exchange trading in the domestic market. Taiwanese stocks surpassed their previous highs for the first time in more than two weeks. The island launched its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine this week, and the government announced that BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccines are now available sooner than anticipated. The South Korean won gained some ground on Thursday after the Bank of Korea raised interest rates. This happened for the first time in three years. Malaysian stocks advanced for a sixth consecutive session, and the ringgit strengthened as fears of political unrest subsided following the country's newly appointed prime minister.

Months ago, the Singapore stock market opened lower, with the Straits Times Index (STI) down 0.3 per cent or 8.92 points to 3,192.94 at 9.03 a.m. Gainers outnumbered losers 80 to 59 after 84.4 million securities worth S$64.6 million changed hands. Keppel Reit (K71U -0.93 per cent) was heavily traded, with 2.7 million units transacting at a value of S$2.9 million. Its unit price remained unchanged at S$1.08 per unit. On Tuesday, the manager reported that its distributable income from operations for the first nine months of 2021 increased by 20.8 per cent year on year to S$159.9 million. Corporation Keppel Keppel Corporation: BN4 -1.64 per cent and Mapletree Logistics Trust: M44U +0.5 per cent were among the index stocks that traded heavily. Keppel's shares closed at S$5.38, down S$0.10 or 1.8 per cent, with 742,100 shares worth S$4 million traded.

The conglomerate announced (after the market closed) that it's offshore and marine subsidiary, Keppel Offshore & Marine, was facing a sui in the United States for a US$819.85 million loss of investment and interest. Mapletree Logistics Trust's units were up S$0.02 or 1% to S$2.01 following the trading of 2.6 million units worth S$5.2 million. The trust reported in a bourse filing after market close on Monday that distribution per unit increased 5.7 per cent to S$0.02173 in Q2 FY21/22. The trio of local banks was all down in early trading. DBS D05 +0.16% fell S$0.07 or 0.2 per cent to S$31.42, UOB U11 -0.52 per cent fell S$0.32 or 1.2 per cent to S$26.56, and OCBC OCBC Bank: O39 -0.17% fell S$0.04 or 0.3 per cent to S$11.95.

Impacting Asia's fortunes, US stock markets set new highs as investors awaited tech company earnings reports and cheered the latest Tesla rally, while European traders awaited the European Central Bank's rate announcement. They also awaited the UK budget later in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased to 64.13 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 35,741.15, the S&P 500 gained 21.58 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,566.48, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 136.51 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 15,226.71. Meanwhile, European stocks closed flat, with gains in banks and commodity-related sectors offset by losses in industrial stocks as bond yields rose and the telecom sector deteriorated. Concerns about rising inflation and sluggish economic growth also weighed on the Stoxx 600, which finished mostly unchanged at 472.21 points. In other Asian markets, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Tuesday, boosted by gains in US stocks, which reached new highs following Tesla's market capitalization surpassing $1 trillion. The Nikkei 225 index increased 1.1 per cent, or 312.84 points, to 28,913.25 points in early trading, while the Topix index increased 0.8 per cent, or 15.27 points, to 2,010.69 points.

Business and Investment Opportunities in Singapore

Business and Investment Opportunities in Singapore

As a foreigner, are you considering starting up some business in faraway Singapore? Good idea- keep this in mind: You need to understand the business ideas that work in this much-celebrated Asian nation. Think of it: Today, Singapore boasts the unique distinction of a country with the highest percentage of millionaires globally! Yes, 1 out of 6 Singaporean households has a minimum of a million US dollars in disposable income- at a minimum. And this figure excludes factors like businesses, luxury goods and properties- if these are included then, Singapore would have even more millionaires (remember: owning property in Singapore is considered relatively expensive compared to the situation in many developed nations in the world).

Singapore has some of the most robust international trade and finance links. It's also a renowned transport hub. For decades, experts have classified the country as the easiest place to do business- and the World Bank agrees. The World Economic Forum today ranks Singapore as the most technologically ready country in the world. With these impressive accolades, you're certainly doing well to consider investing there. So, what are some smashing business ideas to take up in Singapore? Think of the following:


While Singapore has limited arable land, the country has invested a lot in agro-technology, boosting agricultural production and consumption. However, the country has relatively fewer investors in the entire agricultural sector. The demand for food and agro-based products always seems to outweigh the supply. With these factors in mind, anyone investing in the agro-business puts themselves in line to rake in profits. Just get ready to bear the technological costs of investing in agriculture.

Electronics Manufacturing and Retailing

One of the largest single businesses in Singapore is the electronics industry. The sector accounts for well over 48%; of Singapore's total industrial output. Visiting the country, you'll discover enormous opportunities for electronic products and consumer businesses. You don't need too much capital; instead, you merely need to target the narrow range electronics sector.


Singapore is busy investing in biotechnology; the country's government has put in millions of dollars to improve fund research, infrastructure and development. It has recruited the best international experts in this endeavour. Hence, some of the world's leading drug makers (including Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline) have put up plants that operate in Singapore. Undoubtedly, there are incredible opportunities for anyone investing in biotechnology.

Fast Food Restaurants

If you want to make some good sales in Singapore, invest in the food and snacks industry. You probably agree that the food business is universal; yes, this is man's most important primary need. Many consider the Lion City a veritable food paradise- this is the one place in the South-East Asian region with many hawker centres and outdoor food courts; yes, investors can make huge profits selling snacks like pizza, barbecue and the like. It requires little capital to start such a business. You don't even need formal certifications. Hence, this is among the easiest business sectors to break into.

Financial Services

There are plenty of businesses in Singapore- this includes foreign and indigenous businesses. The country needs many investors to venture into areas like accounting, finance, bookkeeping, and auditing. Do you have a good background in any of these areas? You can make lots of money here since most businesses require such services and skills.

Eco-Friendly Products

You may consider investing in the eco-friendly products sector. Such products include the online distribution of modern energy-saving light bulbs or recycled items of the same kind. You merely need to keep your site navigation friendly. Continually update your website with fresh articles. This is undoubtedly a great way to rake in some money.

Auto Spare Part sales

One of the things that sell really well in Singapore are cars and other automobile products. You'll quickly discover that foreigners can break easily into this market. Beware, though- you need plenty of capital to make it in this area. For a start, you can try starting an auto spare parts business as you study the ground; yes, you'll find that these sell really well.

Appliances Repair & Janitorial Business

You know that people seek to save costs by repairing essential appliances, equipment or furniture. This can be a fantastic business option. Consider investing in this area. Further, you might consider investing in a small residential upkeep business. For some regular clients, try to target the many commercial establishments around town. You might find that areas like office cleaning business, foreclosure housecleaning services and roof cleaning services are in high demand.

Becoming a First World Nation

Becoming a First World Nation

Many analysts describe Singapore as a prosperous free market economy. Some have described the country as the most successful development case study. For example, Linda Lim, who's a University of Michigan economic expert, says: ";I don't really think any other world economy ( including the other celebrated Asian Tigers) have such a great statistical record characterized by full employment, rapid growth and excellent social indicators- life expectancy, housing and education prospects… like Singapore.";

The man who steered Singapore to such admirable heights- Lee Kuan Yew- died recently. Regardless, he led the country to achieve an impressive transformation. Analysts regard Lee Kuan Yew as one of the world's most influential political and economic leaders of the 20th century. Many considered Lee an autocrat who led the small island-state to become one of the richest in the world. Indeed, Singapore became a shining role model for other Asian nations and the world as a whole. Many note that Singapore has few natural resources and little land.

The country attained independence from Britain in 1965 and immediately began a transformation that led it to become a significant financial and manufacturing centre. Think of this glowing tribute from the celebrated late economist Milton Friedman: ";Singapore is a shining example of precisely how to do development in the right way. Just compare the situation of Singaporeans with that of the Chinese or Indonesians. You'll soon discover one thing- economic freedom is an essential component that results in total freedom."; As noted, most conservatives consider Singapore to be a veritable free-market success model characterized by few capital restrictions, liberal migration policies and low taxes; these factors have made the country earn a place as one of the most cosmopolitan places on earth.

As Josh Kurlantrzick, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, says: ";Singapore has very free trade, few non-tariff barriers and extremely low tariffs. Go to Singapore and hear this: You can easily start your own company and have it running in a matter of three hours!"; Yes, just like China's Deng Xiaoping, which copied many policies from Singapore, the successful government, led by Lee certainly played a massive role in getting the country's economy running. Eventually, Singapore went on to attain an impressive economic transformation.

As Kurlantrzick says: ";Some of Singapore's biggest domestic economic sectors include electronics, shipbuilding, banking and even private banking. Singapore got its start because the government of Lee Kuan Yew specifically directed state funds into these essential areas."; ";Further,"; he adds, ";the government provided essential social services like health care and housing in such a way that even liberal economists were impressed. With this came a significant amount of peace… social peace. While the Lee cabinet designed the policies, Lee himself made the implementation possible- he provided the right leadership. Notably, Lee understood the diverse Singaporean politics. He established the needed laws (including labour laws) and thus created a peaceful, stable country that multinationals thrived in,"; she says. Note that analysts describe Singapore as the world's most expensive city.

According to Lee's personal philosophy, he believed his country's growth was linked to the values of the different religious and ethnic fabrics of his country. In 2013, Lee said this while addressing a group of college students: ";Since 1965, we've had an undivided society that thrived well behind a meritocratic system; we've pushed for higher educational standards, higher performance standards and vouched for meritocracy at every important level."; Thus, today Singapore stands tall as a highly successful economy, much like Japan. Of course, once in a while, the country's economy has slowed significantly. Singapore has also been forced to compete with low-wage countries that copied its successful policies. So, there are some challenges facing Singapore- just like other fast-developing economies.

Think of it: While the people live well, the Singaporean per capita conceals a saddening inequality level among the people. That's a major issue that cannot be wished away. This is among the things that the country's current leaders must deal with urgently. Despite this, Singapore is still a huge, successful financial sector; the people enjoy relatively high living standards. Undoubtedly, many fondly remember Lee Kuan Yew as a transformational leader who made Singapore's runaway prosperity possible. Yes, Singapore stands tall as a highly developed country, a huge financial success that many developing nations admire and emulate.