Complex requirements deter SMEs from making use of FTAs

Complicated rules of origin requirements are one of the main deterrents to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) hoping to take advantage of free trade agreements.

Complying with these requirements is often tedious, and "might not balance out against the benefits of the FTA in the new market", said Mr Shivaji Das, senior vice-president of consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan.

He was speaking on Thursday at a seminar organised by the European Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, about how companies can take advantage of the EU-Singapore FTA.

The FTA between the EU and the Republic was initialised in September, following the conclusion of the negotiations last December.

The terms of agreement, which will come into effect upon ratification by both parties, are set to herald new trade and investment opportunities for businesses in both the European Union and Singapore.