Singapore pumps money into ports to ward off Chinese competition
SINGAPORE is investing heavily in port and supporting infrastructure to maintain its ranking as a leading port and gateway in southeast Asia.
But Shanghai is rapidly emerging as the port's fiercest contender in the battle to be the major international maritime centre.
"Singapore is a very, very major port. Huge investments are being made in expanding the container aspect of the port up to TUAS which will open in 2027 with a TEU capacity of about 65 million" an enormous and very high tech port. So that's one part of the equation," said Singapore Shipping Association president Esben Poulsson.
"The other part is Singapore is a ship owning centre. We have now about 140 international companies in Singapore of about 28 different nationalities and so we have a real cluster that hub effect which then means that the ancillary services around the ship bonding side of it has also increased legal insurance, ship broking and many other ancillary services."
With regards to market sentiment and the rhetoric coming out of the United States, President Donald Trump has been "pushing throughout the course of his campaign and the start of his presidency this anti-trade rhetoric," said Mr Poulsson.
"Again, that was a theme that also played out throughout the course of the French elections as well. What does that mean for Asia specifically when you see a lot of that negative sentiment coming out of the US and Europe?
"We are of course a bit concerned about some of the noises regarding free trade because free trade for shipping is just crucial and fundamental, he said.