LONDON (ICIS)--The European Parliament on Wednesday voted to approve the trade and investment agreements signed last October by the European Union (EU) and Singapore.
The trade deal is the EU’s first bilateral trade agreement with a southeast Asian country and could pave the way for further deals in the region.
Under the trade agreement, Singapore will remove all remaining tariffs on EU products and will commit to keep unchanged the current duty-free access for all other EU products
The investment agreement aims to ensure a high level of investment protection, while safeguarding the EU's and Singapore's rights to regulate and pursue public policy objectives such as the protection of public health, safety and the environment.
Singapore is by far the EU's largest trading partner in southeast Asia, with a total bilateral trade in goods of over €53bn and €51bn worth of trade in services, according to the European Commission.
In the chemical industry, German producers’ trade group VCI is backing the EU-Singapore deal, seeing it as a blueprint for further agreements with other countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
For Germany’s chemical industry, Singapore is an important hub and the seventh largest export market in Asia. In 2017, the industry exported goods worth more than €1bn to the city-state.
Following Wednesday’s vote by the European Parliament, the trade agreement could enter into force once Singapore concludes its own internal procedures and both sides complete the final formalities.
The investment protection agreement will need to be ratified by all EU member states according to their own national procedures before it can enter into force.