Singapore seen as gateway to ASEAN as Pakistan seeks to diversify trade


As Pakistan seeks to diversify its economy, Singapore is the prime location for the country to engage with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), its Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said.

“Singapore is a very advanced economy. You engage with all the big players internationally,” Bhutto Zardari said on Friday (Dec 9) while on an official visit to Singapore to reaffirm bilateral ties.

“There are so many areas of our economy that complement each other. We can benefit from your location to reach out into ASEAN. Singapore can benefit from Pakistan’s location to reach upwards and outwards,” he added.

Both countries not only have the potential for trade growth in the long term, there are also “low-hanging fruits” that can be mutually beneficial in the short term, Bhutto Zardari said.

He proposed that one such partnership could be the trading of produce, as Pakistan is a huge meat exporter, while Singapore is an import-heavy nation dependent on outside sources for food.

While in Singapore, Bhutto Zardari met Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob at the Istana and discussed trade, digital economy and regional issues with Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.



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