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Explaining Trade Flows of Singapore

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The objective of this paper is twofold. First, the development of the trade patterns of Singapore and particularly between Singapore and its South-East Asian partners will be outlined and interpreted against a backdrop of relevant trade policy measures, for example in the context of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Second, a simple model of the gravity type is applied in order to establish and quantify the role of various trade determinants. Despite the fact that Singapore has strived at being a ‘global city’, it remains rather heavily biased towards East Asia as far as foreign trade is concerned. The role of ASEAN in particular is strong, even if the role of entrepĂ´t trade tends to exaggerate the degree of integration between the economies of Singapore and ASEAN. It also seems clear that the latter, as an organization, has not contributed much to the development of trade relations between its members. Rather the closeness and the liberalization of these economies during the last 15 years or so appear to have been decisive. It is interesting to note that the newer members of ASEAN seem to have been integrated quickly in Singapore's economic network.
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Keywords: Singapore; gravity model; integration; trade flows

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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