”The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force in the midst of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and enters into force in today`s uncertain global economy, demonstrates the common conviction of the EU and Singapore that open and global rules-based trade is the path to growth and prosperity,” he wrote yesterday in a Facebook post. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, said: ”Our trade agreement with Singapore is further proof of our commitment to fair and rules-based trade. This agreement will benefit workers, farmers and businesses of all sizes, both here and in Singapore. It also contains strong clauses to protect human rights, human rights and the environment. This agreement means that we have concluded 16 EU trade agreements in the last five years. The total therefore amounts to 42 trade agreements with 73 partners, i.e. one third of total EU trade. It is the largest network in the world. The pioneering trade agreement between the European Union and Singapore, which votes almost all tariffs between the two jurisdictions, comes into force today.
The agreement has a comprehensive scope that attests to trade in goods (industrial products, processed agricultural products, fish and seafood), trade in services, investment, protection of intellectual property rights, government procurement and competition. Bilateral agreements on basic agricultural products between the various EFTA countries and Singapore are also part of the instruments for the creation of the free trade area. The agreement is expected to be the first free trade agreement with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the third with an Asian country after South Korea and Japan from an EU perspective. Singapore is the EU`s 14th largest trading partner. Eu Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said: ”This agreement will improve our bilateral relations, strengthen the EU`s commitment to ASEAN and demonstrate strong support for the rules-based international order.” The experience gained under the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement will also help guide the next rounds of negotiations for an EU-ASEAN trade pact, he added. The EU is also Singapore`s largest trading partner for services. Bilateral trade in services exceeded $US 79 billion in 2017. All trade in industrial products and fish and other seafood products from the EFTA States will, from the entry into force of the Agreement, benefit from duty-free access to the markets concerned. According to an opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in Luxembourg, the original NAFTA was a so-called mixed agreement. The opinion was requested by the European Commission, which wanted to confirm whether the EU institutions alone were empowered to conclude the agreement without each member state being a party to the agreement.  The ECJ`s opinion led the European Commission to divide the agreement into a free trade agreement and an investment protection agreement.
”As an ambitious agreement with forward-looking arrangements, it marks a new chapter in EU-Singapore relations and will provide Singapore and the EU with a solid foundation to take our economic partnership to the next level,” he added. About 84% of Singapore`s exports, including food, electronics and pharmaceuticals, are allowed to enter the European Union duty-free. It encouraged businesses, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, to continue to reap the benefits of the agreement. Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post yesterday: ”I encourage singapore`s business community, especially those interested in venturing into the EU market, to consider how to reap the benefits of the deal.” Impact of the Agreement on each Member State: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom M. Lee added that Singapore hopes the agreement will eventually lead to a free trade agreement between the EU and ASEAN, improving regional connectivity between the EU. the world`s largest domestic market and ASEAN, which is expected to become the world`s fourth largest economic bloc by 2030. . .