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Canada was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with Singapore since it became fully independent in 1965. Since then, Singapore has become one of our most important strategic partners in Southeast Asia, with whom we share common values and interests. Bilateral relations between Canada and Singapore are wide-ranging, and characterized by cooperation in several areas, including: trade and investment, security and defence, environmental sustainability, culture and arts, education, science and technology, and innovation.
Canada regularly engages with Singapore on international and regional issues based on mutual interests in many areas, including: open trade, rules-based international order, information integrity, cybersecurity, gender equality, climate change and sustainability, as well as support for inclusive societies.
Canada and Singapore are committed to addressing the effects of climate change and continue to collaborate within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In May 2013, Singapore was admitted as an Arctic Council observer state with Canadian support. In November 2021, Singapore joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance which Canada co-leads.
Singapore and Canada have diverse populations that represent a range of values, customs and perspectives. Together we pursue an open dialogue and exchange of ideas on policies and programs related to pluralism, anti-discrimination and multiculturalism.
Canada and Singapore enjoy strong people-to-people links. These ties are enhanced by the thousands of Singaporean students who study in Canada, Canadian students studying in Singapore, the many Canadians who reside in Singapore, and the thousands of Canadians that visit the city-state every year.
In Singapore, Canada is represented by the High Commission of Canada. Singapore’s representative to Canada is a non-resident High Commissioner, who is based in Singapore.
Political and economic overview
Singapore is a highly developed, politically stable, and dynamic city-state located at the heart of Southeast Asia. It is multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious, and has a population of 5.6 million of which around 4 million are citizens or permanent residents, along with over 1.54 million foreigners who are working, studying or living in Singapore. Among residents, 74.3% are ethnically Chinese, 13.5% are ethnically Malay and 9% are ethnically Indian. The remaining 3.2% belong to other groups.
Singapore became independent from the UK in 1963, and became a fully independent country in 1965. Singapore is a parliamentary republic. The elected President is the Head of State and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government.
A trading nation, Singapore is a financial and commercial hub, and is globally renowned for innovation. It invests heavily in research, science, technology and innovation, with a significant focus on building a more resilient, sustainable and digital Singapore.
Singapore is also a valued and trusted partner for Canada as we advance our strategic objectives in ASEAN and the wider Indo-Pacific region in line with Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.
In 2022, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Singapore was valued at $2.9 billion. Canada’s merchandise exports were $1.5 billion, led by: aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts, electronic equipment and parts; and farm, fishing and immediate food products. Canadian merchandise imports from Singapore totaled $1.3 billion in 2022, led by: electronic and electrical equipment and parts; consumer goods; industry machinery, equipment and parts. Services trade between the two countries came to $4.5 billion in 2022, with Canadian services exports of $1.3 billion and imports of $3.2 billion.
In 2022, Singapore was Canada’s largest destination in Southeast Asia for Canadian direct investment abroad ($27.9 billion) and Canada’s largest source of foreign direct investment ($2.62 billion) from Southeast Asia.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Singapore work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- Arctic Council
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- United Nations (UN)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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