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Canada-Singapore relations

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Bilateral relations

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 a variety of areas, including: trade and investment, security and defence, infrastructure, culture and arts, education, science and technology, and post-pandemic economic recovery.

Canada regularly engages with Singapore to advance common interests on international and regional issues based on their policy convergence in many areas, including: open trade, rules-based international order, 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.

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 is represented in Canada by a non-resident High Commissioner, who is based in Singapore. Honorary Consuls-General are present in Vancouver and Toronto.

Political and economic overview

Singapore is a compact, highly developed, politically stable, and dynamic city-state located at the physical and economic heart of Southeast Asia. It is multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious, and has a population of 5.45 million of which around 4+ million are citizens/permanent residents, along with over 1.4+ million foreigners who are working, studying or living in Singapore. Among residents, 74.3% are ethnically Chinese, 13.5% are ethnically Malay and 7.5% are ethnically Indian. The remaining 3.2% consists of those classified as ‘Other’, including Eurasians.

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.

Singapore is a trading nation, serves as a financial and commercial hub in the region, and is a leading global hub for innovation. It invests heavily in research, science, technology and innovation, with a significant focus on building a more resilient, sustainable and digital Singapore.

It is also a strategic and reliable partner for Canada to further our geopolitical interests in ASEAN and the broader Indo-Pacific region.

Trade relations

In 2021, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Singapore was valued at $2.2 billion. Canada’s merchandise exports were $1.2 billion, led by machinery and equipment, electronic equipment, and scientific and precision instruments. Canadian merchandise imports from Singapore totaled $1 billion in 2021, led by electronic equipment, scientific and precision instruments, miscellaneous chemical products, and machinery and equipment. Services trade between the two countries came to $2.97 billion in 2021, with Canadian services exports of $978 million and imports of $2 billion. Sectors offering opportunities for Canadian companies include agrifood, clean technologies, education, information and communications technologies, aerospace, and defence & security.

In 2021, Singapore was Canada’s largest destination in Southeast Asia for Canadian direct investment abroad ($13.13 billion) and Canada’s largest source of foreign direct investment ($1.57 billion) from Southeast Asia.

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Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Singapore work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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