Singapore, EU start free trade talks on 8-12 March

03 March 2010 08:49  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Singapore and the European Union (EU) will start their first round of negotiations to forge a free trade pact this month, the city-state’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the European Commission announced on Wednesday in a joint statement.

The discussions would take place on 8-12 March in Singapore, the statement said.

"The proposed free-trade agreement will strengthen economic ties between Singapore and the EU, provide new opportunities for traders and consumers alike, and contribute to generating growth in our economies," said EU Trade commissioner Karel De Gucht.

"For Europe, it will also mark an important stepping stone in the EU's engagement with the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region," De Gucht added.

Singapore and the EU have also agreed to continue working closely with the World Trade Organisation towards concluding the stalled Doha negotiations on global trade, it said.

The EU is the city-state’s largest trading partner with bilateral trade exceeding €55bn ($75bn), the statement said.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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