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Singapore to promote trade ties with Middle East

Xinhua, China

Singapore to promote trade ties with Middle East

11 March 2008

Singapore, March 11 (Xinhua) — Singapore has completed a free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a senior official said Tuesday.

The FTA will help to form a strategic link between Singapore and the Gulf region, and will assist in facilitating the growth of trade and investments between the two sides, Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign affairs, said at a seminar themed "Rise of the golden crescent - doing business in the Middle East".

Trade between Singapore and the Middle East countries increased42 percent between 2004 and 2006 to reach 48 billion U.S. dollars while the figures are predicted to grow faster in the next few years, according to Rasheed.

Seeing many opportunities that the Middle East has offered for Singapore’s businesses, Rasheed called it "a new frontier" for Singapore.