Asian traveler business man with luggage, bag wearing face mask looking overhead storage bin on airplane in airport. Male passenger traveling by plane transportation during covid19 virus pandemic.

A fast lane to start between Singapore and South Korea

A fast-lane will start between Singapore and South Korea from September 4. The arrangements, which will allow for essential business and official travel between the two countries, have concluded.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Wednesday that the arrangement will help restore connectivity and support economic recovery. It added that the necessary public health safeguards will be in place.

Eligible travelers will have to abide by the mutually agreed terms and prevailing public health measures in both countries.

These conditions include pre-departure and post-arrival testing, as well as the need to adhere to a controlled itinerary for the first 14 days after their arrival.

More details about the the arrangements and application process will be published on the SafeTravel website by Friday.

MFA said that Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his South Korean counterpart, Ms Kang Kyung-wha, spoke on the phone on Wednesday, with both welcoming the conclusion of the fast-lane talks.

It said the ministers also reaffirmed the importance of bilateral cooperation to jointly overcome both countries’ common challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The second fast lane

The city-state also has an agreement for such travel with China and Malaysia and a previous fast lane they announced las month,

Since September 1, Singapore relaxed its measures and has allowed general travel to Brunei and New Zealand, including students studying abroad.

Singaporeans adapt to teleworking more easily

A recent survey by the EngageRocket platform revealed that between April and June, Singaporean workers adapted better to the dynamics of teleworking.

A recent study showed that Singaporeans are adapting better to teleworking.

Data revealed by a survey shows that the overall productivity of Singaporeans gradually increased between April and June.

The survey carried out by the EngageRocket platform had about 20 thousand respondents from 127 companies from different sectors.

The study found that 23 percent consider that they are more productive under teleworking than when they were in the office.

In relation to the month of April this figure is higher by 15 percent when the switches were just starting

“Productivity levels increased between the inception of the breaker and phase two, reflecting how business leaders are successfully responding to this crisis,” said Leong Chee Tung, Co-Founder and CEO of EngageRocket.

He highlighted that the study carried out by his company shows a remarkable adaptability of Singaporean workers.

Challenges in teleworking persist

Despite the gradual improvement in the productivity of Singaporean workers, challenges persist in teleworking.

Space limitations in the home or distractions from family members can be generators of high levels of stress in workers.

The report even points out that prolonged teleworking can be harmful to mental well-being in some sectors.

For example, finance and technology sectors that rely heavily on a disproportionate workforce can more easily work remotely.

According to the survey, 11 percent of the financial sector indicated that their stress levels were intolerable, while 17 percent of workers in the technology area agreed the same.

In the education sector, 30 percent of workers said that stress levels in the dynamics from home are intolerable.

This was due to the uncertainty generated when schools closed and they had to reschedule entire school activities from home.

Eases measures

Singapore eases measures and allows some trips.

Singapore’s government eases border measures and from next September 1 will allow travel to Brunei and New Zealand.

From September 1, Singapore eases its measures and will allow general trips to Brunei and New Zealand, including those students studying abroad.

Likewise, Singapore relaxes its controls, so visitors from Brunei or New Zealand, who have stayed in the country for 14 days before their visit, don’t have to deliver a stay-at-home notice when arriving Singapore.

Instead, they will undergo a Covid-19 test in the airport, and will be allowed to continue their activities in Singapore after receiving a negative result.

About eases students’ permission

Minister Lawrence Wong said “Many foreign institutions are resuming terms and we know there are Singaporean students that have to go back to class”.

Wong also noted that the Covid-19 situation remains highly fluid and that Singapore eases its border control measures based on its constant evaluation of data.

Government state that it is necessary to chart a new path

The Singaporean government assures that the city-state will never be the same again and that it is necessary to prepare to chart a new path.

In a press conference, the Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, assured that Singapore will never be the same after Covid-19, and that we must prepare to chart a new path.

“If we wait it out, we will likely be in worse shape than we are now,” said Minister Chan Chun Sing.

The government representative added that the city-state must now begin to build a new economic model and create more and better job opportunities for people.

The Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister described the situation as painful and considered that recovery amid recurring waves of infection can take time.

These statements came amid the announcement that the economy contracted 6.7 percent in the first half of this year.

He also highlighted that this situation is different from that experienced in the Asian financial crisis in 1998 or in the global financial crisis of 2009.

The new World

The Trade and Industry Minister emphasized that in the last 50 years the geopolitical environment has allowed Singapore to prosper and that today great changes have happened in the world.

He noted that currently competition between major powers influences not only politics, but also trade, technology and security.

At the same time, Chan Chun Sing said that global companies are reorganizing their production and supply chains, evaluating the possibility of a regional headquarters.

Which in his opinion means that, while new investments can go to Singapore, existing ones can migrate to other countries.

So he warned that if they don’t adapt quickly to the changes that are being generated, they may be more affected.

Finally, he said that jobs have changed and remote work means that those in other countries can do Singaporeans’ work from their homes.

Unemployment rate increases in Singapore

According to data from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower, the unemployment rate stood at 2.9% in June. 

The unemployment rate in Singapore increased as a result of job cuts that happened between April and Jun Manpower e due to Covid-19.

The overall unemployment rate stood at 2.9% in June, the highest in just over a decade in the city-state.

According to data published by the Ministry of Manpower, the number of Singaporean unemployed increased to 79,600 in June from 66900 in March.

In the case of permanent residents, 90,500 unemployed were registered at the end of June, compared to 76,200 in March.

The Ministry of Manpower argued that the unemployment figure increased due to the wave of layoffs in this last quarter.

The sector with the greatest impact is the wholesale trade and transportation team as a result of the low demand for retail sales and air travel.

Unemployment situation “seems to not hit bottom”

The head of the Ministry of Manpower, Josephine Teo, pointed to a situation that seems not to have hit bottom yet and that in great measure depends on the actions of companies.

“I think it is reasonable for us to adopt a more cautious attitude, and that is to expect that it hasn’t bottomed out.” said Josephine Teo.

She added that food and beverage establishments may see an increase in consumer demand in the coming months.

However, she pointed that the volumes of the crowds will not be the same as the pre-pandemic due to health security measures.

Finally, Josephine Teo said that the outlook is uncertain not only within Singapore, and that the city-state is highly connected to the global economy, which currently has low demand.

APEC countries join efforts to mitigate effects of Covid-19

APEC member countries held a virtual meeting in which they agreed to unify efforts to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 and re-boost the economy.

In a joint statement, member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation agreed to work together to mitigate the effects of Covid-19.

The information was released by the Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Rocío Barrios, during the First Virtual Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade.

In the virtual meeting, the APEC foreign ministers evaluated some initiatives that will be implemented to achieve economic recovery through out the pandemic.

Cooperation and solidarity against Covid-19

During his speech, Rocío Barrio argued that the health and economic crisis that the world is facing requires greater efforts from each of the countries.

She also said that cooperation and solidarity are the best tools to combat the effects of Covid-19.

Another important topic discussed at the meeting was the need to strengthen supply and supply chains.

“I call on the APEC economies to continue to notify the World Trade Organization of the measures related to COVID-19, in order to avoid unnecessary interruptions to global trade,” Barrios said.

Finally, countries also evaluated the use of new technological tools as the beginning of a new era in the global economy.

APEC and member countries

The APEC was founded in November 1989 with the goal of promoting trade and investment liberalization, facilitating business, and promoting economic cooperation among member’s economies.

Currently the member countries are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taipei, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.

Singapore leads foreign investment in Indonesia

Singapore remains as the main foreign investor in Indonesia despite the economic impact generated by the spread of Covid-19 in the city-state.

According to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, Singapore maintained its investments in the archipelago country during the first six months of the current year.

Singaporean investors injected $4.7 billion in more than 6,500 projects, representing 34% of foreign investment in Indonesia.

Likewise, Bahlil Lahadalia, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board point out that China and Hong Kong were behind Singapore.

China ranked second with an investment of $2.4 billion in 1,311 projects, while Hong Kong follows with an investment of $1.8 billion in 1,200 projects.

According to experts on the subject, Singapore leads investments in Indonesia considering it a potential market, due to this it prioritizes its investments there.

According to data from the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, in the first half of 2020, foreign capital decreased eight percent compared to the same period in 2019, while domestic investment increased 13.2 percent.

Covid-19 impact in Singapore

Singapore entered a technical recession, confirming the collapse of its economic activity in the second quarter of the year, the most affected by the pandemic.

The data published by the Ministry of Trade and Industry shows a contraction of 41.2% in the indicated period.

The ministry attributed the decline in the economy to low external demand in the context of the global economic crisis caused by Covid-19.

Customs Procedures in Singapore

Every time a company purchases an imported product it must fulfill with the regulations established by the Customs Regime of that country, in this sense we will talk about the customs procedures in Singapore in this article.

Firstly, it is important to know that Singapore does not belong to any customs union. Rather, it’s a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) and applies the Harmonized Customs System.

According to the World Trade Organization, it is defined as the nomenclature based on a classification of goods according to a 6-digit code system accepted by all participating countries. They may establish their own sub-classifications with more than 6 digits for tariff or other purposes.

It consists on a six-digit combination that identifies the products based on their characteristics.

More than 200 countries and 98% of global trade use this product nomenclature system known as the Harmonized System which is regulated by the World Customs Organization.

Therefore, one of the points that any PYME or company should take into account when trying to trade their products in the international market is that it’s not enough to know the current name of the goods that they sell, but also it will be necessary to indicate the “code” That identifies it.

This “code” will appear frequently in the export and import documentation, and will be essential in determining the applicable tariffs for each product.

The legal regulations that rule the entire area of customs procedures in Singapore are:

  • Customs law
  • Goods and Services Tax Law

Both laws are responsible for regulating all merchandise that enters the country through import.

However, the import process in Singapore is quite open, most products can enter the country without further restriction, exceptions include products with chewing gum and weapons.

Regarding the tariffs and taxes corresponding to the import activity, the country is free of taxes except for products such as automobiles, gasoline, tobacco and alcohol.

However, every good that enters the country through importation is submit to the laws, and requires a customs permit to consider the activity and order the payment of corresponding taxes.

In Singapore, there is a licensing system that is required for 6% of total imports, related to fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, meat, animals, medicines, diffusion products (automatic licenses), and also a series of products that may represent a risk to health or to the State (without automatic licenses).

These licenses are issued by the Singapore International Company, another body that can also take part is the Ministry of Health.

At Shoshan Trading we join the LinkedIn community

We expand our digital ecosystem by joining the LinkedIn social network with the aim of expanding our business and commercial relationships in a direct and reliable way.

At Shoshan Trading we continue to expand our digital ecosystem with our presence on LinkedIn.

Since last week we opened this new communication window on LinkedIn with the goal of boosting our commercial relations and our business.

So, if you want to know more about our services, job offers or make suggestions to our team, this is the perfect way for you to contact us.

The reasons?

Recently, social networks have grown too much, as LinkedIn is a platform where all conversations are related to the world of business, news and financial news, we consider it as a great alternative.

After carrying out several studies that demonstrate its reach and the proximity that it will provide us with our clients and future partners, we decided to take the step and expand our presence in the digital ecosystem.

We also believe that LinkedIn is an ideal platform to enhance our brand and thus continue to consolidate ourselves over time as a reliable business.

It is a network where we can show ourselves as we are, that will help us find good partners that will result in the expansion of our offer of products and services.

Where else are we present?

Besides LinkedIn, we are also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, like @shoshantrading, we adapt our profile on each of these platforms to reach a wider audience in a segmented way.

What is Shoshan Trading?

We are a team with more than 20 years of international experience in the export and import of food products and we also have supported the development of producers and distributors.

Thanks to our knowledge, we have built alliances with different retailers and even support their development with different financial products that your company can also count on.

Monetary Authority of Singapore is considering reducing support measures

The Singapore government affirmed that the support measures cannot be maintained indefinitely and warned that it is necessary to evaluate new alternatives that allow companies and citizens to stay afloat.

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and financial institutions are evaluating a plan to reduce support measures for companies and citizens.

Ravi Menon, MAS’ director announced that they are working with banks on how to separate companies and citizens from the support measures implemented by the government.

Menon pointed out that since the beginning of the pandemic the Central Bank has worked with the financial industry in the implementation of support measures, that they have already done their part.

“I don’t think we can continue these supports indefinitely, because the longer you continue them, the more risk some of these borrowers are in terms of repayment,” he added.

Other alternatives need to be considered!

He emphasized that, it is time to consider other alternatives that allow companies and citizens to stay afloat in the midst of the crisis generated by the Covid-19.

The MAS’ director stated that a balance needs to be achieve to ensure that most debtors can repay their loans to financial institutions.

Since March 31, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has been working on the implementation of a series of support measures for companies and citizens.

Scope of support measures

According to Menon, the payments of 34 thousand mortgage loans have been deferred until December 31.

Principal and interest payments on more than 2,100 renovation and education loans have also been deferred.

More than 6,200 applications to convert outstanding credit cards and unsecured debt into term loans at lower interest rates were approved

Nearly 25,000 life and health insurance policies have deferred their premiums while maintaining coverage.

About 600 individual general insurance policies, such as for vehicles policies, are under flexible installment payment plans.

More than 240 PYME applications for flexible payment plans of general insurance were also approved. The postponement of guaranteed loan payments from more than 5,300 PYME was approved.