FARGO, N.D. – The Singapore Ambassador to the United States., Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, is in North Dakota this week to meet with business leaders to discuss emerging business and trade opportunities between Singapore and North Dakota.
“Singapore is an important trade and business partner for North Dakota,” said Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, Chairman of the North Dakota Trade Office Board of Directors. “We are happy to host The Honorable Ambassador Mirpuri, not only offering him the chance to meet with government officials but also to speak directly with our North Dakota business leaders about current challenges and opportunities in the future.”
Ambassador Mirpuri began his North Dakota tour in Bismarck on Monday, where he met with government officials at the North Dakota capitol along with business leaders in thchancee energy and engineering sectors. On Tuesday, the Ambassador, who is accompanied by directors fromInternational Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the Singaporean government agency that drives international trade in the city-state, toured UND Aerospace in Grand Forks and presented to business leaders at the Business Opportunities in Singapore Trade Talk, a public event hosted by the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO), in Fargo. The trade talk provided information for North Dakota companies entering or looking to expand their exports into Singapore.
Singapore is a key market and platform for U.S. companies hoping to expand their market penetration throughout Asia. With a U.S. style of business, strong intellectual property protection, a small, easy-to-navigate market, an English-speaking society, and virtually no corruption, Singapore is a prime regional trading hub for U.S. exporters.
In 2004, Singapore and the United States entered into the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. Since then, North Dakota’s exports to Singapore have increased nearly 500 percent, from $751,000 in 2003 to $4.5 million in 2013. Top products exported from North Dakota to Singapore include front end shovel loaders, machinery parts and soybeans. NDTO has identified Singapore as a high-opportunity market for North Dakota exporters and contracts with a market manager who splits his time between Singapore and the United States.