The European Union and Singapore have committed to work together towards the ratification of a bilateral trade and investment deal by the end of this year, and its implementation soon after.
This came out of a meeting on Friday (Mar 2) between Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang and visiting EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom.
"This is an important step towards closer relations with the EU, which is our third largest trading partner and largest investor in Singapore," said Mr Lim. "It also reinforces EU’s economic engagement in the ASEAN region."
Welcoming the commitment, Ms Malmstrom said: “Together with the EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, this trade and investment agreement will confirm our strong engagement with Singapore and will open up a new dimension in our ties with Singapore and ASEAN.”
Negotiations on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement were concluded in October 2014. When concluded, it will be the first trade deal that will be implemented between the EU and an ASEAN member state.
The agreement with Singapore is expected to be sent in April 2018 to the Council and thereafter to the European Parliament for approval. The EU’s top court had ruled last May that for the FTA to fully come into force, it needs approval from the 38 national and sub-national parliaments of the 28 member states in the regional bloc.
Source : This is part of an article originally published on Channel News Asia.