As hopes for a compromise with the European Union on Brexit wane, British and Singaporean trade ministers signed a free trade agreement on Thursday, December 10.
Cet accord avec la cité-Etat, une plate-forme financière et commerciale majeure, devrait fournir au Royaume-Uni an important appui in Asie et portera sur a volume d’échanges of 22 million dollars (18.2 million euros) annually.
London signed its first major post-Brexit bilateral trade deal with Japan in October. But the agreement is the first with an ASEAN member country, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has eleven members and represents some 650 million people.
New version of the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement
For London, it is also a step towards joining the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement of which Singapore is a member. This association, the CPTPP, is the new version of the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Pact (TPP) that was abandoned by Donald Trump. The free trade agreement signed on Thursday was inspired by an existing agreement between the European Union and Singapore.
Trade Minister Liz Truss praised Singapore’s leadership in favor of free trade after signing the deal with the former British colony that cultivates close ties with London.
It provides for the elimination of tariffs, opens reciprocal access to services markets and reduces non-tariff barriers to electronic products, vehicles and spare parts, pharmaceutical products and medical devices, as well as to the production of renewable energy. Customs duties are expected to be removed in 2024, on the same date as for the agreement between the EU and Singapore.
” We’re free “
“Now that the UK has become a commercially independent nation again, we can join this campaign.” for free trade, Liz Truss said. “Singapore is the UK’s main trading and investor partner with ASEAN, while the UK is the main destination for Singaporean investments in Europe.”, he stressed.
This agreement “Provides UK companies with a platform to access opportunities in the region through Singapore”observed Singapore’s Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have given each other until Sunday to make a decision on the negotiations for a Brexit deal, still at a standstill.
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