The Straits Times - 29 March 2023
Singapore, Britain launch negotiations on new investment treaty
By Prisca Ang
Britain and Singapore have started talks on a new treaty that will improve the flow of investments between the two countries.
The UK-Singapore Bilateral Investment Treaty (UKSBIT) as it is called will supersede the existing pact that came into force in 1975.
The new treaty will include robust and up-to-date rules on the treatment of investments and investors from Singapore and Britain, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday.
“By giving investors more certainty and confidence, the new (agreement) will provide a strong foundation for two-way investment flows between Singapore and the UK,” it added.
Britain is Singapore’s largest European investor, with close to $130 billion worth of investment stock in Singapore. In turn, Singapore is Britain’s third-largest Asian investor, with almost $65 billion invested in the country.
The launch of the negotiations was announced after a virtual meeting between Singapore Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran and British Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch.
Mr Iswaran said Singapore and Britain are investor-friendly jurisdictions, with large and growing investments in each other’s markets.
“We can further strengthen this important investment relationship through a new UKSBIT that provides updated protections for Singapore investors venturing into the UK, and vice versa,” he added.
“Both sides will also consider how to facilitate and encourage two-way investment flows.”
Mr Iswaran noted that the new treaty builds on the strong momentum of bilateral economic cooperation in recent years, including the UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, Digital Economy Agreement and Green Economy Framework.
Both countries signed a memorandum of understanding on March 1 centred on the Green Economy Framework, which aims to create opportunities in the clean energy, low-emission transport and sustainable finance sectors.