EU-Singapore free trade deal gets green light in Trade Committee

eu tradeThis article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Trade Committee MEPs agreed on Thursday to the EU-Singapore free trade agreement, a stepping stone to cooperation between the EU and Southeast Asia.

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 main elements of the trade deal are the following:

  • removal of many non-tariff barriers: Singapore will recognise the EU safety tests for cars and certain electronics, including household devices or adapters. It will also accept EU labels and markings for clothing and textiles;
  • Geographical indications (GIs): Singapore will protect around 190 EU GIs to the benefit of EU food and drink producers, including those of Jerez wine, Comté cheese, Nürnberger Bratwurst and aceto balsamico di Modena;
  • public procurement: more access to supply goods and services to the Singapore government;
  • services: liberalisation of financial, postal, telecommunications, transport and information technology services. Mutual recognition of the qualifications of architects, lawyers and engineers;
  • sustainable development: Singapore will implement core labour rights conventions, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the sustainable management of forests and fisheries.

The trade committee gave its consent to the agreement by 25 votes to 11, with one abstention. The accompanying resolution, laying out the recommendations of the committee, was adopted by 25 votes to 10, with two abstentions.
Settling disputes between companies and state

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. Read more about it here.
Quote

“Today’s vote shows support for a progressive EU trade and investment policy. The trade agreement will not only enhance the EU’s access to the Singapore market, but even more to the growing ASEAN region, while ensuring workers and the environment are well protected. The investment protection agreement incorporates the EU’s reformed approach, and will replace the existing deals between Singapore and 13 Member States that include the toxic investor-state dispute settlement,” said David Martin (S&D, UK), the rapporteur on the agreements on the free trade and the investment protection deals.
Next steps

Parliament is set to vote on the trade deal and the investment protection agreement on 12 February in Strasbourg. Once Council concludes the trade agreement, it can enter into force. For the investment protection agreement to enter into force, the member states first need to ratify it.
Background
Singapore is by far the EU’s largest partner in the region, accounting for almost a third of EU-ASEAN trade in goods and services, and roughly two-thirds of investment between the two regions. Over 10,000 European companies have their regional offices in Singapore.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

One-sixth of the world’s economy has now pledged to cut CO2 to zero by 2050

Guterres says justice must be done following deadly Burkina Faso convoy attack

Future EU-UK relations: EU is offering ‘cooperation of an unprecedented nature’

‘The best-selling brand today is fear’: UN chief highlights urgent need to address global ‘deficit of trust’

UN Security Council urged to act against ‘worst-case scenario’ Syria’s war-battered Idlib

China Unlimited and the Chinese dream

Three scenarios for the future of geopolitics

Coronavirus update: COVID-19 likely to cost economy $1 trillion during 2020, says UN trade agency

UN launches plan to promote peace, inclusive growth in Africa’s Sahel

Greece will probably stay in the Eurozone but at what cost?

Corruption In The Balkans Is Impeding EU Membership

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Chart of the day: When do young Europeans leave home?

Respect people’s peaceful assembly and fair trail rights, UN human rights wing urges Nicaragua

Air Pollution Control: Does Your Action Matter?

UN chief appeals to G7 leaders for ‘strong commitment’ and political will to tackle climate emergency

A Young student assesses the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

Do academia and banks favour a new Middle Ages period?

More solidarity and interaction between generations needed to challenge age stereotypes and ingrained ageism

Here’s why the tech sector could be the next target for Chinese investment in Africa

Urgently address ‘defining challenges of our time’, to empower youth worldwide, top UN official tells forum

In a time of rising xenophobia, more important than ever to ratify Genocide Convention

iSting: Change Europe with your Writing

UN and partners appeal for $920 million to meet ‘dire needs’ of Rohingya refugees

Do not confuse food charity with ‘right to food’, UN expert tells Italians, labelling food system exploitative

COP25: Global investors urge countries to meet climate action goals

The three US financial war fleets

Will Eurozone be able to repay its debts? Is a bubble forming there?

Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere break another record, UN report shows

How fintech is making investment accessible

UN chief calls for ‘enlightened self-interest’ from world leaders to save ‘the whole planet’ from climate change

What India’s route to universal health coverage can teach the world

How three US cities are using data to end homelessness

The COP24 Agreement: Yes, it happened at last

More urgency needed to help increasing numbers ‘locked out’, before 2030, says UN’s Bachelet

Chart of the day: This is how many animals we eat each year

More refugees being helped by family, work and study permits, finds OECD and UNHCR study

End ‘political opportunism’ that’s letting hate speech flourish, urges top UN genocide official

With millions of girls ‘at risk’ today of genital mutilation, UN chief calls for zero tolerance

Everything you need to know about Ireland’s economy (Post Brexit)

Tackle ‘unacceptable inequalities’ in cancer care, saving up to seven million lives, WHO urges

Changing balances: leaders of medical research worldwide

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

Engaging world’s youth vital to preventing violent extremism, building sustainable peace, UN official tells Baku Forum

Is Europe ready to cooperate with the rest of the world? Can Germany change its selfish policies?

Two shipwrecks add to ‘alarming increase’ in migrant deaths off Libya coast: IOM

Banks and businesses must step up and work together to fight climate change

Look Mom, even the House of Lords says the #righttobeforgotten is not right

EU crisis aggravates structural differences, threatens cohesion

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Ban Ki-Moon Closing Address at COP21 Action Day Innovation, Imagination, Faster Climate Action

UN condemns deadly simultaneous terrorist attacks on military camps in Mali

Why good cybersecurity in business is everyone’s responsibility

‘More time’ agreed for buffer zone, to spare three million Syrian civilians in Idlib

MEPs demand end to EU arms exports to Saudi Arabia

EU invests in green projects and bans single-use plastics while climate change requires more to be done

Mergers: Commission approves Varta AG’s acquisition of Energizer’s divestment business, subject to conditions

Global aid appeal targets more than 93 million most in need next year

COP25 climate talks: What just happened, and what lies ahead?

How cities can lead the way in bridging the global housing gap

China rare earth prices soar on their potential role in trade war

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s