Singapore interested in sealing trade accord with Mercosur and in the Port of Santos concession
The government of city-state Singapore, in Southeast Asia, intends to participate in the concession process for Brazil’s largest terminal, the Port of Santos (SP), as part of the greater trade negotiation with the Mercosur block.
The announcement was made by the head of the Singaporean Diplomatic Mission in Brazil, Desmond Ng, in a meeting with lawmaker Paulo Alexandre Barbosa, president of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Commission (CREDN) of the Chamber of Deputies.
Singapore has the second largest port in the world by volume, second only to Shanghai, China. “We are very interested in this process and believe that our expertise will be very valuable for Brazil, especially for the Port of Santos, the largest in Latin America”, said the diplomat.
Desmond Ng also underlined Singapore’s interest in concluding the free trade agreement negotiations with Mercosur, which began in 2018. In his assessment, “this agreement will make Singapore’s economic and trade relations with the region even denser. On the other hand, Singapore will function as a strategic hub for relations between Mercosur countries and Southeast Asia”, he highlighted.
“Mercosur negotiations with Singapore did not stop even during the pandemic. There is very little left to be completed and, we hope, they should be closed by the end of the year, when Brazil will hand over Mercosur command to Paraguay”, recalled lawmaker Paulo Alexandre.
The member of Congress also assured that, “after the negotiations are concluded, we will prioritize their analysis, voting and approval”. Regarding Singapore’s participation in the Port of Santos concession, the deputy was optimistic.
“In November, we will be in Singapore with Brazil Export and we will see in situ the entire structure and functioning of the port. I also intend to have a bilateral agenda with the ministers of National Development and Transport, to align Singapore’s cooperation and investments in Brazil”, said the president of CREDN.
Singapore is Brazil’s second largest trading partner in ASEAN, the 5th largest in Asia and the 20th largest partner overall. The country is also the fourth largest Asian investor in terms of flow into Brazil, behind only Japan, South Korea and China, with undertakings in the areas of shipbuilding and airports, in addition to equity participation in Brazilian companies in the areas of infrastructure, education and hospital services. In addition, around 50% of the animal protein imported by Singapore is from Brazil.