Comment: Singapore will feel the effects of sanctions on global trade more than direct relations with Russia



Singapore does not trade much with Russia, so the effects should be more limited than other countries. Singaporean banks, such as DBS, said they had little or no direct exposure to Russia.

And Russia only accounts for 0.1% of Singapore’s total exports and 0.8% of total imports. That said, some of the main products historically exported from Singapore to Russia could be subject to sanctions, such as navigational equipment and integrated circuits, because they can be used in weapons systems and other high technology.

There are other effects on Singapore apart from the net count of imports and exports. Due to its geographical location and role as an international financial and maritime hub, Singapore is highly interconnected with Asian and global economies. Singapore is likely to feel the effects on global trade far more than the effects of direct trade with Russia.

Let’s not forget that there is also a transaction cost for Singaporean companies to comply with the sanctions. Many companies operating in Singapore have been forced to mobilize massive internal efforts and hire external advisers to try to understand whether Singapore’s sanctions might affect them, and if so, how.

For example, a financial services company in Singapore might have difficulty determining whether any of its business transactions could help “facilitate fundraising” by an entity owned, controlled by, or acting under the direction of the Russian government or of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. , especially since a lender may not have perfect visibility into the commercial transactions of all its customers.


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