EU-Singapore free trade deal will remove virtually all tariffs
The agreement will remove virtually all tariffs between the two parties at the latest in five years.
It will liberalise trade in services, protect unique European products, and opens up the Singaporean procurement market.
The agreement includes strengthened labour rights and environmental protection.
Trade Committee MEPs emphasised that since this is the first bilateral trade agreement between the EU and a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the deal can serve as a stepping stone to future free trade deals between the two regions, at a time when the EU can no longer rely on the US as a trading partner.
The committee also agreed to the Investment Protection Agreement which, once ratified by all EU member states, will replace the existing bilateral agreements between Singapore and 13 EU member states with a more modern approach to dispute settlement. Trade Committee MEPs gave their consent by 26 votes to 11. The resolution was adopted by 25 votes to 12.
On Tuesday, the Foreign Affairs Committee voted to give its consent to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Singapore, which extends cooperation beyond the field of trade. ■