In addition to the free trade agreement, the United Kingdom and Singapore have committed to entering into negotiations and efforts to conclude a high-level investment agreement within two years and four years of the entry into force of the FREE Trade Agreement between the United Kingdom and Singapore. SINGAPORE – Singapore signed a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom on Thursday (December 10th) to ensure that companies in both countries continue to enjoy the same benefits they enjoy under the Republic`s free trade agreement with the European Union. The United Kingdom and Singapore have signed a trade agreement that will cover current bilateral trade in goods and services of more than $224.8 billion ($17 billion) if the UK`s exit from the European Union is fully effective. The agreement largely reflects an agreement between Singapore and the European Union (EU). The two countries also agreed to negotiate a Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) in 2021 to define “modern rules for digital trade and financial services between Europe and Southeast Asia.” It is reported that the DEA will be the first such agreement of Singapore with a European country. The two countries also agreed to evaluate the modules of a UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) to begin DEA negotiations in 2021. They also pledged to start talks on an investment protection agreement and to conclude an investment protection agreement within two to four years of the free trade agreement coming into force. The agreement removes tariffs and allows both countries access to the other country`s services markets. But while both sides are interested in announcing that the agreement is a success, it is in fact a rollover to the Singapore Free Trade Agreement.
Parliament`s report contains an explanation of the agreement, including any significant differences or improvements. It also contains information on rules of origin and trade tariff quotas. Singapore and the UK are also considering starting discussions on an investor protection agreement within two years and hope to conclude the pact within four years. The agreement, as representatives of Britain and the European Union, took a final step to break a deadlock over the UK`s future trade relationship with the Bloc. Trade expert Bryan Tan of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “Britain and Singapore are historic trading partners and the free trade agreement means a bond for countries to maintain the status quo after Brexit by maintaining the same trading conditions before Brexit. In addition, countries are also working on a digital economy agreement that will create the conditions for the next-generation free trade agreement, which will focus on areas of the digital economy that are important to both countries. These, in turn, send a signal to industry and to Asian countries where Singapore is considered a pioneer. A pact on the Canadian model will get rid of most, but not all, tariffs, while an agreement on the model of Australia is not at all a trade agreement and will be based on the terms of the World Trade Organization. The British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore said on Thursday that the playing time of the agreement “will give a sense of confidence to the economy so that they can make critical decisions, strengthen their workforce, invest for the future and continue to grow.” The free trade agreement between Britain and Singapore will also remove “unnecessary” technical barriers for exporters in Singapore and the UK, MTI said.