LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical industry is urging the European Parliament to back the proposed free trade and investment protection agreements between the EU and Singapore, chemical producers’ association VCI said on Tuesday.
For the German chemical industry, Singapore is an important hub and the 7th largest export market in Asia. In 2017, the industry exported goods worth more than €1bn to the city-state.
A deal with Singapore could become a blueprint for further agreements with other countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“A positive vote for partnership will strengthen the links between the EU and Southeast Asia,” said VCI director general Utz Tillmann.
“Singapore is more than the economic heart of the region; it is also an important hub for the chemical-pharmaceutical industry,” he said.
The agreement with Singapore would be the first of its kind between the EU and an ASEAN member and could lead to further deals in the region, Tillmann added.
“The [ASEAN] countries form an up-and-coming economic area in Asia with a total population of over 600m,” he said.
“In view of growing trade tensions worldwide, it is more important than ever before for the EU to intensify relations with ASEAN members who are strategic key partners between China and India,” he said.
The parliament is due to vote on the Singapore deal on Wednesday, 13 February.
Germany's total exports hit a record high of €1,317.9bn in 2018, but growth slowed markedly and exporters in Europe’s largest economy are in for headwinds in 2019, ICIS reported earlier.