EU approves FTA with Singapore

BRUSSELS, European Union Economic and Finance Ministers Friday approved the free trade agreement (FTA) with Singapore, signed on October 19, 2018, which will enter into force this November 21.

The FTA will slash customs duties on both sides; Singapore will remove all remaining tariffs on certain EU products and keep the current duty-free access for all other EU products unchanged, said the ministers in a statement following their meeting in Brussels today.

The EU will open its market to over 80 percent of all imports from Singapore duty-free and remove all other tariffs within a few years, it said.

Moreover, technical and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods will be removed in sectors such as: electronics, motor vehicles and vehicle parts, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, renewable energy, and raw and processed products of animal and plant origin, it noted.

“With over 50,000 European companies exporting to Singapore, the vast majority of which are small and medium sized enterprises, the importance of this agreement for European businesses cannot be overestimated,” commented Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland, which holds the current EU Presidency.

“It has the potential to create a thriving business environment for big and small players and strengthen even more our relations with our largest partner in South East Asia,” he added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency