Trade barriers lifted two months after separation

The trade quota restrictions which virtually halted trade across the Causeway after Singapore's separation from Malaysia would be lifted.

The easing of restrictions came about two months after Singapore became independent on Aug 9, 1965.

Singapore's Acting Minister of Finance Goh Keng Swee and Malaysia's Minister of Commerce and Industry Lim Swee Aun made the joint announcement on Sept 29.

Both ministers had met and agreed on certain measures to free trade between the two countries.

The quotas previously imposed by either Malaysia or Singapore would no longer apply to both countries. Their quotas on any other countries would still apply.

The two men also added that a committee would be set up to forge closer economic co- operation between the two countries.

Singapore almost ceased to be a market for Malaysian manufacturers a few days after separation.

The Republic imposed import restrictions on 185 items, such as batteries, eggs, condensed milk, soap, tyres and textiles.

The Malaysian government also laid down quota restrictions on 148 items as a temporary measure to protect Malaysian manufacturers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2015, with the headline 'Trade barriers lifted two months after separation'. Print Edition | Subscribe