Salceda questions Singapore's exclusivity of Taylor Swift's concert

Salceda questions Singapore’s exclusivity of Taylor Swift’s concert

/ 05:47 PM February 28, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to ask the Singaporean ambassador to the Philippines about claims of exclusivity in hosting the only Taylor Swift concert in Southeast Asia.

Salceda requested this to the DFA on Wednesday amid rumors that the grant given by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to company AEG Presents, the producer of Swift’s concert, included a provision that prevents AEG from staging concerts in other Southeast Asian countries.

Such a practice, Salceda said, is not “what good neighbors do.”


“Some 3 million USD in grants were allegedly given by the Singapore government to AEG to host the concert in Singapore. The catch was that they do not host it elsewhere in the region,” Salceda, who chairs the House committee on ways and means which discusses tax policy proposals, said in a statement.


“I give it to them that the policy worked. Regional demand for Singaporean hotels and airlines was up 30 percent over the period. I estimate that the exclusivity term caused an increase in industry revenues by USD 60 million. So, the grant produced 30 times more in economic activity,” he added.

According to Salceda, the allegation was made public by Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who said that the Singaporean government’s grant was offered on the condition that there be no other stops in Taylor Swift’s Southeast Asian leg.

READ: Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour allegedly omits PH, other regions after closing exclusive deal with SG

Filipino fans were disappointed upon hearing the news that Taylor Swift would not be holding a concert in the country, leading “Swifties” to fly off to other locations like Japan and Singapore just to see the artist live.

READ: Filipinos laugh-cry to news of Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’ Asian leg skipping the Philippines

“But it was at the expense of neighboring countries, which could not attract their own foreign concertgoers, and whose fans had to go to Singapore. I doubt the exclusivity terms were on the grant contract itself,” Salceda said.


“But I don’t think we should just let things like this pass. We should still officially register our opposition. It also runs contrary to the principle of consensus-based relations and solidarity on which the ASEAN was founded,” he added.

READ: Singapore lures Taylor Swift with grant for sold-out March concerts

Such a policy by Singapore should be enough reason for DFA to send a note verbale to the Singaporean envoy according to Salceda.

Salceda, an economist by profession, however, admitted that the Philippines really needs to improve its approach and step up its game so that it can attract revenue-generating events.

“So, I think the DFA should send a note verbale to our counterparts in Singapore. Our countries are good friends. That’s why actions like that hurt I think it’s also one example of the evolving nature of trade in services that we need to discuss with our neighbors, perhaps as enhancements to the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement,” he said.

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“In the long run though, we need to up our game. That is what agencies like the Tourism Promotions Board were made for,” he added.

TAGS: Singapore, Taylor Swift

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