Singaporeâ€™s top trade official said the city-state is willing to facilitate a dialogue between the US and China to repair their relationship, as he described growing tensions between the worldâ€™s biggest economies as detrimental to the world.
US-China tensions â€œhave serious consequences for the rest of the world,â€ Gan Kim Yong, Singapore minister for trade and industry, told Bloomberg Televisionâ€™s Haslinda Amin in an interview. â€œSingapore as you know has always wanted to do business with both.â€
â€œWe will also do our best to facilitate dialogue and engagement with the US and China through our businesses, through our officials, so that we can foster a collaborative relationship,â€ he said. Singaporeâ€™s economy relies heavily on trade and is vulnerable to shocks resulting from disruptions in commerce, especially involving China, the city-stateâ€™s No. 1 trading partner. The latest trade tensions stem from the USâ€™s effort to clamp down on Chinaâ€™s access to critical semiconductor technology and to impose export controls.
â€œAll of us are concerned and watching this development very closely,â€ Gan said, referring to the export controls. â€œSingaporeâ€™s interests and interests of the rest of the world are for the US and China to have a stable relationship as well as a constructive one,â€ he added.
Singapore and other Southeast Asian governments have been focussed on building their relationship with the US around talks on the White Houseâ€™s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
While participants have celebrated renewed attention from Washington on the 10-nation region and its neighbours, that agreement has been under fire for being too focussed along counter-China lines and bearing too little substance â€” especially with no market-access deals that the trade-reliant nations across Asia crave.
While the pace of Singaporeâ€™s economic expansion is expected to moderate to a sluggish 0.5%-2.5% this year, itâ€™s confident of avoiding a recession amid a boost from Chinaâ€™s reopening. â€œWe depend on the growth of the world to fuel Singaporeâ€™s growth,â€ Gan said.
Education Minister Chan Chun Sing echoed similar sentiments during an event, saying countries and investors have the â€œresponsibility to play a constructive role even amidst the ongoing US China dynamics.â€