SINGAPORE AND EUROPEAN UNION
TO NEGOTIATE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
1 Singapore and the European Union (EU) have agreed to start
negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA). This represents a
milestone in Singapore’s relationship with the EU, with whom we have
robust and long-standing economic ties. An FTA with the EU will be a
key addition to Singapore’s network of FTAs, as the EU is Singapore’s
largest trading partner.
2 In the first 11 months of 2009, Singapore’s total trade with the EU
stood at S$78.6 billion, accounting for 11.6% of Singapore's total trade.
The EU is also Singapore’s largest investor. As at end-2007,
Singapore’s overall FDI stock from the EU stood at S$150.8 billion.
3 In 2008, Singapore was the EU’s 15th largest trading partner
globally, and EU-Singapore trade accounted for a third of all EU-ASEAN
trade, making Singapore the EU’s largest trading partner amongst
ASEAN member states.
4 The bilateral FTA will not only promote the flow of goods, services
and investment, it is also likely to enhance collaboration in areas such
as trade facilitation and technical regulations.
5 The FTA will contribute to regional economic integration by
paving the way for an EU-ASEAN FTA. Negotiations on this region-toregion
FTA began in 2007 but due to slow progress, both sides agreed
to pause in March 2009.
6 Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang said, “The EU’s
decision to proceed with a bilateral FTA with Singapore is a positive
development. It demonstrates the importance of this region. Singapore
is keen to see a high quality agreement that includes substantial
liberalisation across a wide range of areas. As the EU’s first FTA with an
ASEAN country, this will be a milestone agreement which will lay the
ground for an even closer relationship between the EU and ASEAN.”
MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
22 DECEMBER 2009