Based on the pandemic from a few years ago and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the world is struggling against inflation, including Singapore. Now the small island-state has a new challenge, stemming its neighbor state, Malaysia, from which Singapore imports a third of its poultry. Malaysia banned chicken exports on Wednesday because of domestic prices soaring and poultry shortages due to increases in costs for feed and fertilizer, triggered by supply shortages after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

We now live in an increasingly competitive, protectionist, and nationalist world that poses real challenges for Singapore. Nor is Malaysia the only state increasing protectionism in the region. India is planning to restrict sugar exports, and it has already banned wheat sales previously. Meanwhile, Indonesia barred but then unblocked the exports of palm oil, and Thailand will raise rice prices, like Vietnam, to support its bargaining power.

In this case, Singapore needs to have a diplomatic solution before the market solution, or neighborly good will might quickly become strained, and then the consequences will influence the driving force in economic and social life in Singapore, which is the state itself.

 

Written by Eddie C.

Edited by Ari B.