EU-Singapore trade agreement enters into force
Brussels, 28th November, In times of global economic uncertainty and when open and rules-based global trade are put into question, Cefic welcomes the entry into force of the trade agreement between the EU and Singapore on 21 November. This is the first bilateral trade agreement with a Southeast Asian country and represents a closer relationship between Europe and one of the most dynamic regions in the world. Singapore is an important and growing hub for the EU chemical sector, which has a trade surplus on chemicals of € 2.2 billion. EU chemical exports to Singapore have quadrupled over the last 10 years, with petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and consumer chemicals representing our main exports to the country.
While Cefic defends multilateralism as the best option to improve trading opportunities for chemicals, it also supports the bilateral track when agreements are unattainable at the multilateral level. In this regard, the ambitious bilateral trade agenda of the Commission represents a good way forward to create opportunities for chemical companies. The entry into force of the agreement with Japan in February this year adds to the list, together with other agreements such as Korea and Canada, of “new generation agreements” mainly negotiated after 2006. These types of agreements aim not only to liberalise trade, but to also include commitments on key issues for chemicals such as regulatory cooperation, as well as stronger rules-based and values-based provisions included in its Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters.
We count on the new European Parliament to be supportive of this process. An opportunity will be by voting favorably on the EU Vietnam trade agreement schedules for the beginning of next year and by also supporting the Mercosur political agreement achieved in June this year.