Channelnewsasia.com | 04 September 2008
Singapore, China announce successful conclusion of FTA talks
TIANJIN, China: Singapore and China have successfully completed negotiations for the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA), a statement from Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Thursday.
The announcement was made at the 5th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meeting, co-chaired by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng and China’s Vice Premier Wang Qishan in Tianjin.
The CSFTA is the first comprehensive bilateral Free Trade Agreement concluded by China with an Asian country.
The pact came some two years after negotiations began in October 2006.
The statement said the CSFTA is a comprehensive and broad-based agreement covering areas ranging from trade in goods to technical barriers and economic cooperation.
The MTI said both countries also concluded negotiations for a Memorandum of Understanding on Labour Cooperation.
Singapore’s trade with China rose to a record high of S$91.6 billion in 2007.
China is Singapore’s third largest trading partner, while Singapore is China’s eighth largest trading partner.
Both countries hope to sign the CSFTA next month, during Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Beijing, in conjunction with the 7th Asia Europe Meeting summit.