International trade

Expert Voices

Increased competition threatens Singapore's oil-heavy economy

shipping vessels near port and oil refinery facilities
Vessels anchored near an oil refinery on Singapore's Jurong Island. Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

Singapore has for decades been a premier refinery hub and gatekeeper between Asia and the Middle East, but its position is increasingly threatened as more Gulf nations expand their processing capacity and petrochemical production.

Why it matters: Oil and petrochemicals drive about one quarter of Singapore's net exports. Greater competition in the global oil and gas value chain could take a heavy toll on the city-state’s national budget and economic growth prospects.

Expert Voices

Chinese electric buses help Chile reduce emissions, improve trade ties

Electric buses on the road in Santiago, Chile
Chinese-made electric buses in Santiago, Chile. Photo: Claudio Reyes/AFP/Getty Images

A recent delivery of 200 electric buses from Chinese manufacturers BYD and Yutong, with more orders to come, is advancing Chile's goals for electric-powered public transit — 80% by 2022 and 100% by 2040.

Why it matters: Chile is electrifying transportation to help clean its air, reduce urban noise pollution, cut oil imports and add more renewables to its energy mix. Moving toward electric mobility is also a way for Chile to tighten its trade ties with China, the dominant player in the global electric bus market.