EU and Singapore ink landmark free-trade deal

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, have completed final negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Singapore.

Singapore is deemed to be the next gateway market for European exporters to Asia.

The agreement reached is one of the most comprehensive the EU has ever negotiated and will create new opportunities for companies from Europe and Singapore to do business together.

The growing Singaporean market offers export potential for EU, industrial, agricultural and services businesses. An EU-Singapore FTA will be the EU’s second ambitious agreement with a key Asian trading partner, after the EU-Korea FTA, which is in operation since July 2011.

Last year EU-Singapore trade was worth about 74bn euros (£60bn; $97bn), the BBC reported.

The EU Commission says the deal – not yet signed by politicians – will help EU exports of cars and financial services, the report said.

The EU is also conducting FTA negotiations with Malaysia and Vietnam – like Singapore, members of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

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