European Parliament has given its consent to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) and EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (EUSIPA) in a vote on 13 February 2019 in Strasbourg, France. The consent by the European Parliament sends a strong signal on the robust and longstanding relations between the EU and Singapore. The EUSFTA and EUSIPA are the first trade and investment agreements concluded between the EU and an ASEAN member state.

Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran said, “This is an important milestone in Singapore’s bilateral relations with the European Union. The EUSFTA and EUSIPA will bring strategic and economic benefits to both the EU and Singapore. Singapore and EU companies, in particular our SMEs, can look forward to significant benefits from the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers. The two agreements are also strategic pathfinders to an eventual EU-ASEAN trade and investment agreement. They are a tangible demonstration of the EU and Singapore’s shared commitment to open and rules-based trade and will anchor the EU’s presence in ASEAN. We look forward to the expeditious entry-into-force of the agreements, which will bring the EU and Singapore closer together and ultimately benefit EU citizens and Singaporeans by creating good jobs and new opportunities.

Following the approval by the European Parliament, both the EU and Singapore will undertake their respective internal administrative processes to enable the EUSFTA to enter into force as soon as possible. As a mixed agreement1, the EUSIPA under the EU’s processes will be sent to the regional and national parliaments of the EU member states for approval before entry into force.

Some of the key benefits of the EUSFTA and EUSIPA are as follow:

  • Singapore will remove tariffs on all EU products entering Singapore. The EU will remove tariffs on 84% of all Singapore products entering the EU within the first year, and the remaining 16% over a period of 3 to 5 years.
  • The EUSFTA will provide for liberal and flexible rules of origin (ROO) for both EU and Singapore’x export products
  • The EUSFTA is the first bilateral FTA where Singapore has secured enhanced market access for Asian food products made in Singapore such as Lap Cheong, up to 1250 Tonnes annually
  • Un-necessary technical barriers to trade will be removed
  • The EUSFTA provides enhanced market access for service providers, professionals and investors, and creates a level-playing field for businesses in each other’s markets, including through certain sector-specific rules on non-discrimination and transparency
  • The EU, which has the largest government procurement market in the world, will grant Singapore enhanced access to city-level and municipal-level government procurement opportunities. In return, Singapore’s commitments in the GP Chapter will allow EU companies more opportunities to participate in our public tenders. Companies that will benefit include those with strengths in computer-related services, telecommunications services, land transport services, maintenance and repair services, sewage and refuse disposal, and architecture and engineering services
  • To continue encouraging innovation, the trade agreement includes a comprehensive intellectual property rights chapter covering provisions on copyright, designs, enforcement and geographical indications (GIs)
  • Singapore will enhance its existing GI regime by setting up a GI Registry to receive applications for GI registration. Once registered in Singapore, GIs will enjoy enhanced protection. Consumers will also be better able to recognise authentic quality EU food and drink products in Singapore.

Some key facts about EU-Singapore relationships

Trade in Goods

The EU is Singapore’s third largest trading partner, with bilateral trade in goods exceeding S$114 billion in 2018. Singapore is also an important trading partner for the EU, and is the largest EU trading partner in ASEAN. In 2018, Singapore’s total exports in goods to the EU were approximately S$49 billion, while imports from the EU were roughly S$65 billion.

Trade in Services

The EU is Singapore’s largest market for services trade,with bilateral trade in services exceeding S$79 billion in 2017. In that year, the EU was our top destination for services exports, valued at approximately S$39 billion. It was also Singapore’s second largest source of services imports, valued at over S$40 billion.

escveritasBanking & FinancePoliticsAgreement,Free,FTA,TradeEuropean Parliament has given its consent to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) and EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (EUSIPA) in a vote on 13 February 2019 in Strasbourg, France. The consent by the European Parliament sends a strong signal on the robust and longstanding relations between the EU and...