Singapore To Incorporate Use Of Spanish Language To Boost Trade And Commerce
Singapore will be making the Spanish language as a third language in the city-state starting 2014.
Education Minister Lawrence Wong announced the launch of the second Language Center of the Ministry of Education that secondary school students will be taking up Spanish as a mandatory language course in 2014. Junior college students, on the other hand, will be obliged to study Spanish only in 2018.
The decision was made following former Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero’s visit in 2010 when Singapore and Spain inked bilateral agreements to enhance both countries’ cultural, educational and scientific fields.
The Singapore government aims to increase the number of Spanish companies in Singapore and also to expand in Spanish-speaking countries. The Ministry of Education believes that an increase in Spanish-speakers in Singapore would bolster the business and trade talks between business entities in both countries.
Spain ranks as Singapore’s 12th largest trading partner in Europe. Singapore is seeking to improve Spain’s ranking as its trading partner given Spain’s influence on global trade and politics.
Spanish is the third most spoken language worldwide, following Mandarin and English. 21 countries all over the world have the language as its mother tongue.
Just recently, Singapore inked a bilateral agreement with Spain’s neighbour Portugal. Singapore also strengthened its trade ties with Sri Lanka and India this year.
Singapore is one of the top destination of global companies in Europe and America for overseas expansion because of its competitive corporate tax rate and favorable tax treaties. The country also recently topped the list of the World Economic Forum’s Global Enabling Trade Report for the country that’s most receptive to foreign trade.
Singapore is currently doubling its efforts to make the country as a global accountancy and legal hub in Southeast Asia. The country has recently opened slots for foreign law firms recently who are looking into expanding their operations in Singapore.