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China and Singapore Sign MOU on Upgraded FTA, Commit to Wider Economic Cooperation

BusinessChina and Singapore Sign MOU on Upgraded FTA, Commit to Wider Economic Cooperation

Over the weekend, China and Singapore inked a Memorandum of Understanding, announcing the successful conclusion of subsequent negotiations on an upgraded bilateral free trade agreement. The Ministry of Commerce in China released a statement online, confirming that both teams will continue their follow-up work on legal review and translation of texts to sign the agreement as soon as possible, once they fulfill their respective domestic procedures.

The upgraded FTA is set to enhance market access for businesses from both countries, and will include a standalone chapter on telecommunications, along with high-level economic and trade regulations on market access, national treatment, transparency, and the digital economy. China’s Minister of Commerce, Wang Wentao, and Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Gan Kim Yong, confirmed the agreement, promising that the opening-up measures in service trade and investment sectors will not be rolled back, and that respective doors will only open wider.

This isn’t the first time the two nations have upgraded the FTA. They first signed the agreement in 2008, with an upgrade in 2018. In December 2020, they again upgraded the agreement and launched subsequent negotiations to liberalize service trade and investment, based on a negative-list model. The commerce ministry notes that the FTA is a significant measure and practical action by China to align with high-standard international economic and trade regulations, and to open up to the outside world. It will undoubtedly boost China-Singapore economic and trade cooperation to an all-new level.

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