The free trade agreement between Britain and Singapore will also remove “unnecessary” technical barriers for exporters in Singapore and the UK, MTI said. The provisions of the agreement are intended to reduce costs for exporters. The free trade agreement will cover bilateral trade in goods and services of more than $17 billion ($30 billion). Singapore is one of the ten ASEAN members. It is the EU`s largest trading partner in ASEAN, accounting for just under a third of EU-ASEAN trade in goods and services and about two-thirds of investment between the two regions. More than 10,000 EU companies are based in Singapore and use it as a hub for the entire South Pacific. According to a joint ministerial statement from Singapore and the United Kingdom, tariffs on 84% of all customs lines for Singapore`s exports to Britain will continue to be abolished. According to an opinion of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, the initial AEE was a so-called joint agreement. The opinion was requested by the European Commission, which asked whether the EU institutions were the only ones entitled to conclude the agreement without the Member States being contracting parties.  The Court`s opinion led the European Commission to divide the agreement into a free trade agreement and an investment protection agreement. Bilateral trade and investment negotiations with Singapore began in 2010 and ended in 2017. The agreements with Singapore are the first to be concluded between the EU and a South-East Asian country and are a step towards stronger engagement between the EU and the region.
The UK and the European Union are currently mired in negotiations on post-Brexit trade deals, more than 10 months after the UK left the bloc. The agreement covers a number of service sectors, including architecture, engineering, business consulting, advertising, IT, environment, mail and courier, ship and aircraft maintenance and repair, international shipping and hospitality services. The agreement is expected to be the first free trade agreement with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the third with an Asian country after South Korea and Japan from the EU`s point of view.