Singapore is one of the EU’s main trading partners in the South East Asia region with a total bilateral trade in goods of over € 53 billion, and another € 51 billion in trade in services.
The agreement, which is the first bilateral trade agreement between the EU and a member country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is related to decision (EU) 2018/1599 of 15 October 2018 – OJ L 267 of 10.25.2018 and establishes a free trade area between the EU and Singapore, aiming to liberalize and encourage trade and investment between the parties.
Over 10,000 EU companies are based in Singapore and use it as a hub for the entire Pacific region.
Based on the trade agreement, as of today, 21 November 2019, all customs duties between the two parties will be eliminated within the next five years. This will allow free trade in services and goods, protect European PGI products (190 in all) and open up the Singapore procurement market to European companies. Singapore will also recognize European quality standards, which are among the highest in the world, not only with regard to food products, but also on the safety of cars and electronic devices.
The agreement also offers new opportunities to EU service providers, in sectors such as telecommunications, environmental services, engineering, IT and maritime transport.
The agreement also includes strengthening workers’ rights and protecting the environment, a particularly important issue for the European Parliament
The key points of the agreement:
– Complete liberalization of investment services and markets;
– New procurement opportunities for EU bidders;
– Elimination of technical and regulatory obstacles to trade in goods;
– Singapore’s commitment not to increase its tariffs on EU imports;
– A high level of protection of intellectual property rights;
– A complete chapter on trade and sustainable development, with new opportunities in the “green growth” sector.