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SINGAPORE AS AN INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE

Singapore’s Financial Sector – Positioning for the Upturn

With the gradual recovery of global economies, Singapore’s financial services sector saw year-on-year growth of 18% in the first quarter of 2010. The resilience of Singapore’s financial sector can be attributed to our strong fundamentals: a well-respected regulatory and supervisory regime, a stable domestic economy, a pro-business operating environment and a highly competent financial sector workforce. While the global financial industry has gone through severe contraction as a result of the crisis, investors have remained bullish about growth opportunities in Asia. In this regard, it is important that Singapore continues to play a key role as an important gateway to Asia, facilitating capital and investment flows.

The post-crisis financial landscape in Asia should continue to find a positive nexus between the financial system and the real economy, which is essential for the sustained growth of Asian economies. In this regard, MAS continues to encourage the growth of trade and corporate finance activities, as well as project financing capabilities, so as to meet the financing and liquidity needs of Asian corporates and economies. Singapore has seen good growth in the area of commodity trading, with an increasing number of both physical and derivatives trading players expanding their operations in Singapore to meet Asia’s fast-growing demand for resource commodities. Treasury activities have also picked up in tandem with the internationalisation of Asian corporates who have found Singapore an ideal location to manage their global and regional treasury activities. Given the growth and potential of the region, interest in Asian investments remains strong. Recognised as a major centre for asset management in the Asian region, asset managers continue to use Singapore as a base to access regional opportunities for both investing and asset-gathering.

MAS continues to build depth and diversity in the offering of financial products and services, and build industrywide trading and clearing infrastructure. At the same time, we continue to emphasise the importance of enhancing transparency, strengthening risk management and deepening financial sector competencies in our workforce.

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