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Green light for Singapore-EU trade deal

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Green light for Singapore-EU trade deal


(LUXEMBOURG) - EU Member States authorised Tuesday the signature and conclusion of the trade and investment agreements between the EU and Singapore, as well as a partnership and cooperation agreement.

The EU and Singapore are expected to sign the agreements on 19 October, in the margins of the ASEM summit in Brussels.

The EU-Singapore trade and investment agreements are the first bilateral trade and investment agreements concluded between the EU and a member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Singapore is by far the EU's largest ASEAN partner, accounting for almost one third of EU-ASEAN trade in goods and services. Bilateral trade in goods amounted €53.3 billion in 2017, with the EU exporting €33.16 billion, mainly cars and machinery, while importing € 20.14 billion, in particular chemicals, pharmaceuticals.

Before the agreement, almost all goods from the EU could already enter Singapore free of customs duties. The FTA will now eliminate the remaining tariffs within three to five years, depending on the product category. It will also remove technical and non-tariff barriers by recognising the EU's standards and safety tests in key areas, such as electronics, pharmaceuticals or car parts. For fisheries and processed agricultural products entering the EU, some tariffs will continue to be applied.

The FTA will lift restrictions in the services sector, where bilateral trade amounted €44.4 billion in 2016.

The EU is Singapore's biggest trading partner in services, while over 10 000 EU companies use Singapore as a hub to serve the whole region. The EU-Singapore trade deal is one of the first 'new generation' bilateral agreements. On top of the classical removal of customs duties and non-tariff barriers for trade in goods and services, it contains important provisions on intellectual property protection, investment liberalisation, public procurement, competition and sustainable development.

The EU Commission says the Investment Protection Agreement with Singapore will further improve the investment climate and offer more certainty to investors, while safeguarding the EU's and Singapore's rights to regulate and pursue public policy objectives such as the protection of public health, safety and the environment. It will replace the 12 existing Bilateral Investment Treaties between Singapore and EU Member States.

Text of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement

Text of the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement

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