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Pleasing progress for Singapore trade deal

17 September 2013

Pleasing progress for Singapore trade deal

Conservative MEP Syed Kamall today welcomed news that the planned trade deal between the European Union and Singapore has taken an important step forward.

Conservative MEP Syed Kamall today welcomed news that the planned trade deal between the European Union and Singapore has taken an important step forward.

Dr Kamall, who is the European Parliament”s “rapporteur” or lead negotiator on the agreement, said: “I am delighted that prompt and meaningful progress is being made on this agreement which can bring so much benefit to the UK, European and world economy.”

The London MEP was speaking as it emerged that European Commission lawyers have now completed their “scrub” of the agreement document – a detailed check that the wording is legally sound – and that an “initialing”, or pre-agreement, of the text can go ahead in Singapore on September 20.

Under the agreement, Singapore and companies from EU countries will enjoy greater access to each other’s markets.

The EU will eliminate tariffs on all imports from Singapore over a period of five years. Singapore will grant immediate duty-free access for all imports from the EU. The deal will also see the removal of a number of non-tariff measures between the EU and Singapore, improving access for exporters of pharmaceuticals and electronics.

Both parties will guarantee access to each others’ services markets, including a range of sectors such as environmental services, computing, financial services and maritime transport.

Dr Kamall said: “It appears we should be on course to have the agreement signed by the end on this year or early 2014.

“I have called this agreement a signpost to the future, because it points up the importance of trading relationships with key Far East partners and emerging markets. Trade with Singapore can open up new commercial opportunities for British and European companies across south-east Asia.

“This is potentially a major boost for for professional services companies from my constituency of London, but crucially this can be the key to opening up closer engagement with a region which is economically buzzing and full of opportunity.”

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