Singapore and Egypt to start negotiating free trade pact
By S Ramesh, Channel NewsAsia | 14 November 2006
SINGAPORE : Singapore and Egypt have signed a Declaration of Intent to start negotiations on the Egypt-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
The Declaration was signed in Cairo on Monday by Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed and the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
The Trade and Industry Ministry says the agreement will be a high standard and comprehensive one aimed at sending a strong signal to the international community of the commitment of both countries to economic development.
Both countries will also work towards reform and help to catalyse interests by businesses and investors to the economic opportunities available in Egypt and Singapore.
Officials from both countries will meet to discuss the scope and modalities of the agreement.
Singapore stressed that the agreement would enhance bilateral relations between Egypt and Singapore, and form a strategic bridge between Asia and the Middle East as well as North Africa.
The idea of a bilateral free trade agreement was first mooted by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in his meeting with then Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebied in February 2004.