Singapore’s trade hits historic high

Agence France Presse

Singapore, January 17:

Singapore’s key non-oil domestic exports (NODX) rose 17 per cent in 2004 and total trade reached a historic high but growth will moderate this year, the city-state’s trade agency said on Monday.

Total trade rose 22 per cent to a record 580 billion Singapore dollars (354 billion US) in 2004 thanks to the strong economic recovery in the United States, Japan and European Union and robust global electronics demand.

The NODX expansion in 2004 was an improvement over 15 per cent the year before but 2005 is expected to be a “year of consolidation” for the overall trade performance, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said in a statement.

NODX for all of 2004 reached $132.8 billion.

In December 2004, NODX — regarded as the best measure of Singapore’s trade performance — expanded 8.0 per cent compared with a year earlier, which was within economists’ forecasts.

“All top 10 NODX markets recorded strong positive growth in 2004,” IE Singapore said, with exports to China, Hong Kong, the EU, South Korea and Australia maintaining double-digit growth rates. “More notably, NODX to Malaysia and the US recovered from the contraction in 2003 to post growth of 12 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively for the year,” the agency said.

The EU, United States and Malaysia are Singapore’s top three export markets.

In 2004, the EU accounted for the highest share of Singapore exports at 19.9 per cent, closely followed by the United States.