Singapore corroborates participation in RCEP

Singapore corroborates participation in RCEP

Singapore ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement on Friday.

Becoming the first participating country to do so, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a press release.

The RCEP is the world’s largest free trade agreement, bringing together the 10 ASEAN economies as well as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

“Singapore’s expeditious ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement signals Singapore’s strong commitment to strengthening our trade and economic linkages with our partners, for the benefit of our businesses and people,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

“We look forward to our fellow RCEP Participating Countries doing likewise, to expedite the entry into force of the agreement.”

Singapore has deposited its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, said MTI.

The RCEP was signed by the 15 participating countries in November last year.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said then: “The RCEP is a major step forward for the world, at a time when multilateralism is losing ground and global growth is slowing.”

The RCEP deal establishes a mutually beneficial economic partnership that builds on existing ASEAN agreements with the bloc’s five FTA partners, said MTI on Friday.

Comprising about 30% of global gross domestic product and close to a third of the world’s population.

The deal will complement Singapore’s existing network of FTAs and boost trade and investment flows, the ministry said.

Businesses can expect to benefit from tariff elimination of about 92% on average

As well as streamlined rules of origin for greater flexibility to tap on preferential market access benefits.

The RCEP agreement will enter into force after six ASEAN member states and three ASEAN FTA partners have ratified it.

The participating countries are targeting entry into force on 2022, said MTI.

Source: Channel News Asia .

Singapore-UK trade agreement to start Today

Singapore-UK trade agreement to start Today

Traditional Cantonese prawn dumplings called har gow will be one of the many Singaporean products to find greater market access in Britain when the UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement comes into force Today.

The deal was signed on Dec 10 last year by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss. It took effect via a provisional application on Jan 1, 2021.

Chan said on Wednesday: “The agreement… signals the strong commitment of the UK and Singapore to ensure continuity and certainty in trading arrangements between both countries. It will deepen the strong economic relations both countries share.”

It also marks the first free-trade agreement between the UK and an ASEAN country, and sends a strong signal of Britain’s commitment to deepening its economic engagement with the region, Chan said.

“We hope that companies will utilize this and enjoy its benefits,” he added.

Under the deal, Singapore and UK companies will enjoy the same benefits that they received under the European Union (EU)-Singapore free trade deal, including tariff elimination for goods trade, increased access to their respective services and government procurement markets as well as reduction of non-tariff barriers.

The trade agreement will help Singapore and the UK further strengthen their business hub status in their respective regions and boost Britain’s engagement in South-east Asia.

The British government has already taken steps to close ranks with Asia’s regional blocs following its successful bid to become an ASEAN Dialogue Partner and has shown keen interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

What covers the new trade agreement?

The new trade deal covers more than £17 billion (S$30.3 billion) of current bilateral trade in goods and services between Singapore and the UK.

Its immediate benefits include the elimination of 84 percent of all tariff lines for Singapore exports to Britain, with virtually all remaining tariffs eliminated by November 2024 – the same timeline under the EU deal.

However, the enhanced market access in the UK for Asian food products made in Singapore, such as har gow and sambal ikan bilis (spicy crispy anchovies), is separate from the quota provided for under the EU agreement

These processed food products will be able to enter the UK tariff-free up to a combined quota of 350 tons annually.

The two countries have also agreed to assess the modules of a UK-Singapore digital economy agreement, with a view to launching negotiations this year. 

Source: The Star.