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Strong trade ties with more opportunities to be explored

BILATERAL trade in goods has expanded in the past few years, with Spanish exports of goods to Singapore in particular doubling between 2008 and 2014, from S$764 million to over S$1.35 billion. The trade in services between both countries is also substantial, estimated at 344 million euros (S$541 million) and 156 million euros in exports and imports respectively from Spain in 2016.

However, more recent figures showed a slight decline from 2015 due mainly to lower oil prices, as well as lower imports from Singapore of some raw materials and semi-manufactured goods. In 2017, exports of goods from Spain stood at S$936 million, with imports at S$521 million.

Spain participates regularly in several important Singapore trade fairs, and in 2018 there were a number of National Pavillions, such as at Food & Hotel Asia, Medical Fair, MedLab, Singapore International Water Week, Sitce, ConnecTechAsia, Techinnovation, and Asia-Pacific Maritime. There have been a number of business visits as well to Spanish International Fairs and events, such as World Mobile Congress in Barcelona.

Over 100 Spanish companies are established in Singapore, in diverse sectors such as energy (including renewables), financial and insurance, steel, construction and engineering, health products, fashion and apparel, foods, chemicals, ITC travel technology, among others.

There is a Double Tax Avoidance Treaty between the two countries, and a number of leading Singaporean companies have invested in Spain in the last decade in areas such as real estate, energy, hotels, retail space, food production and distribution, among others.

However, given the important roles of both countries as international investors and their geostrategic locations of respective importance in both the EU and Asia regions, more bilateral opportunities should be explored in the near future.

Singapore was appointed non-EU priority country by the Spanish Secretariat of Trade in 2013.

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