Sunday, December 16th, the EU and Singapore agreed upon the terms for a free trade deal.
“We have finalized the negotiations, and I’m very pleased with the result,” EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told Reuters by telephone from Singapore.
The deal between the EU and Singapore should further open the markets of the Asian country for financial services and also make exports easier for the European automakers. After the European Commission finalizes the negotiations, the deal will have to be signed off by the EU executive, member states and the European Parliament.
The EU leaders hope that this deal will offer automakers better access to Singapore, which is one of Asia’s richest countries, and where the US enjoys preferential access. According to EU officials, this deal will remove non-tariff barriers, such as the double testing of cars, and Singapore will recognize EU standards.
This free trade agreement is one of EU’s attempt to fight the effects of the sovereign debt crisis and increase stagnant domestic consumer demand. In 2011 the EU made a similar agreement with South Korea and a deal with Canada is near completion. In November EU trade ministers agreed to begin talks with Japan and negotiations are underway with the US.