Singapore and the United Kingdom signed a free trade agreement on Thursday (Dec 10) that will “provide continuity and certainty” for businesses in both countries, said Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.
The FTA was signed by Mr Chan and UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss.
The UK and European Union are currently locked in post-Brexit trade deal talks, more than 10 months after the UK left the bloc.
Under the UK-Singapore FTA, companies from both countries will enjoy the same benefits they are receiving under the EU-Singapore FTA, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).
These benefits include tariff elimination for goods trade and increased access to services and government procurement markets. There would also be a reduction of non-tariff barriers, including in four major sectors: electronics, motor vehicles and vehicle parts, pharmaceutical products and medical devices, and renewable energy generation.
“The UK-Singapore FTA will provide Singapore and UK companies with certainty and clarity in trading arrangements between both countries,” said MTI.
The FTA will cover more than £17 billion (S$30 billion) of bilateral trade in goods and services.
TARIFF ELIMINATION ON 84 PER CENT OF EXPORTS
Under the agreement, tariffs will remain eliminated for 84 per cent of all tariff lines for Singapore exports to the UK, said a joint ministerial statement by Singapore and the UK.
“Singapore Asian food products such as har gow (prawn dumplings) and sambal ikan bilis (spicy crispy anchovies) will continue to enter the UK tariff-free under flexible rules of origin, up to a combined quota of 350 tonnes annually,” the joint statement added.
“Singapore will also continue to bind our current level of duty-free access for all UK products entering Singapore, and maintain protections on iconic UK goods such as scotch whisky.”