China-S'pore FTA upgrade likely to be inked this month: Chan Chun Sing

During an interview with Xinhuanet, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing (left) said the enhanced trade pact will provide Singapore businesses with greater trade facilitation and investment protection in China.
During an interview with Xinhuanet, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing (left) said the enhanced trade pact will provide Singapore businesses with greater trade facilitation and investment protection in China.PHOTO: XINHUA

Enhanced pact will benefit more businesses and cover more areas, such as e-commerce

The upgrade of the free trade agreement between Singapore and China, which is three years in the making, will likely be signed by both sides later this month in Singapore, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

"We should be hearing the good news when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Singapore," he said, referring to Mr Li's visit to the Republic for the 33rd Asean Summit in mid-November.

"Many more companies and businesses will benefit from this upgrade. And it will cover more areas than before," Mr Chan said, according to a transcript of his video interview with Xinhuanet, an affiliate of China's state news agency Xinhua.

The interview was published yesterday.

The enhanced trade pact will provide Singapore businesses with greater trade facilitation and investment protection in China.

It will also extend cooperation in legal and financial services, as well as e-commerce and the environment.

The current free trade pact between the two countries came into force in 2009 and was China's first with another Asian country.

 
 

Mr Chan noted that the signing of the enhanced trade pact also sends a message.

"In the current international situation, this also brings a positive message to the entire international community, that is, our two countries will work together to maintain and strengthen free trade," he said.

Mr Chan envisaged that the improved free trade agreement will further boost investments between China and Singapore.

"With more investment, it will bring more employment opportunities and improve people's living standards and wages. On the other hand, in simplifying customs procedures, the (imported) goods will be cheaper and will benefit more people," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2018, with the headline 'China-S'pore FTA upgrade likely to be inked this month: Chan Chun Sing'. Print Edition | Subscribe