SABC News (South Africa)
Singapore, SA closer to Free Trade Agreement
August 10, 2006
The first step has been taken to establish a Free Trade Agreement between Singapore and South Africa. Justice MPH Rubin, Singapore’s High Commissioner, is in Tshwane to facilitate the process.
Rubin says the process depends on a number of role players, like the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), before the trade agreement could be approved.
Rubin says a Free Trade Agreement would increase investments from Singapore into South Africa. Last year Singapore invested 1.6 million Singapore dollars in South Africa.
Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Singapore were established 13 years ago.
President Thabo Mbeki visited Singapore in April last year. He signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Co-operation, which kick-started the process of obtaining a Free Trade Agreement between South Africa and Singapore.
Process in motion
The first step in establishing a Free Trade Agreement was taken last month.
Rubin said: “A team of senior officials of the department of trade and industry visited Singapore and engaged our ministry of trade and industry with the view to see whether a joint trade committee could be formed.
"At the end of the day, parties must actively consider entering into a Free Trade Agreement."