EU and Singapore ink a deal
Free trade agreement

EU and Singapore ink a deal

The trading partners recently signed a free trade and investments protection pact that is widely expected to be a major boost for all involved.

In the face of rising global trade conflicts, the EU and Singapore recently signed a free trade and investments protection agreement that will remove many tariffs, reduce technical barriers, and provide better opportunities in services and government procurement.

The EUSFTA, was signed by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, in October at the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Brussels, Belgium.

The EUSIPA was signed for Singapore by S. Iswaran, the Minister for Communications & Information, who is also the country’s Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations. Nikolaus Marschik, Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Austria, signed for the EU.

‘’The EUSFTA and EUSIPA are progressive agreements, with ambitious provisions to create more opportunities for businesses from both sides,’’ said S. Iswaran.

’’This is the first free trade agreement between the EU and an ASEAN country, and reflects the EU’s continued interest in engaging ASEAN and anchoring its presence in the region,’’ he said.

The trade agreement removes nearly all remaining tariffs on certain EU products, simplifies customs procedures and sets high standards and rules, EU officials said. It also simplifies trade in goods like electronics, food products and pharmaceuticals, while stimulating green growth.

EUSIPA will ensure a high level of investment protection, 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.

Jean-Claude Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker

EU President Jean-Claude Juncker, now facing the pending exit of the United Kingdom from the EU, said the pact would send a ‘’strong message by like-minded partners to defend and promote an international system that is based on rules, on cooperation, and on multilateralism.’’

‘’The trade agreement will open up new opportunities for European producers, workers, farmers and consumers,’’ he said.

Singapore has been moving to expand its trade and partnerships with economies around the world. It has inked more than 20 free trade agreements with countries and economic regions.

Within the ASEAN bloc of nations, Singapore is by far the EU's largest trading  partner with a total bilateral trade in goods of $60.8 billion in 2017 and in services of $50.7 billion in 2016. 

Over 10,000 EU companies are established in Singapore and use it as a hub to serve the Pacific region. 

Singapore is also the number one location for European investment in Asia, with investment between the two growing rapidly in recent years: bilateral investment stocks reached $292.3 billion in 2016.

Frans Kok
Frans Kok

Frans Kok, General Manager of AEB Asia Pacific, said the company is uniquely prepared to assist traders that in the wake of the agreement are looking to do business in Singapore or expand their current position there.

''With AEB’s presence in Singapore for more than 15 years we are in an excellent position to provide companies in Singapore and the EU with the software solutions that will help them maximise the benefits of this new FTA,'' he said.

Those include:

 AEB Customs Management is the central platform for managing your customs processes. With end-to-end IT integration and smart automation, you accelerate your customs processes and save valuable resources.

 AEB Export Management supports you with both customs management and export controls. The many features include integration of your customs brokers around the world, local direct filing, a powerful solution for classifying your product portfolio, sanctions list screening – even automated export license management. 

 AEB Supply Chain Collaboration works together with all your supply chain partners. The functionalities include continuous bi-directional status exchanges at every level – transport, order, consignment, or the individual item.

AEB Trade Compliance Management automatically runs restricted party screening for you in the background. The intelligent software, which can be used anywhere in the world, warns you before a business partner becomes a liability. Quickly and reliably, while the rest of your business continues uninterrupted.