Singapore, EU move closer to ratifying free-trade pact

Singapore, EU move closer to ratifying free-trade pact
EU Parliament in session.

SINGAPORE - Singapore and the European Union moved a step closer Friday to ratifying a free-trade agreement that includes a key "green" component.

The two sides - whose bilateral trade totalled Sg$105 billion ($84 billion) in 2012 - finalised the legal text in Singapore, paving the way for a formal signing in the first half of next year and ratification by their parliaments either in late 2014 or early 2015.

They completed negotiations in December last year. The EU is Singapore's second-biggest trading partner and the city-state's biggest investor.

Once the agreement comes into force, all EU exports into Singapore will enjoy immediate duty-free access.

The FTA will also make it easier for EU and Singaporean companies to invest in each other's renewable energy sector.

Trade in goods related to renewable energy generation, such as machinery and parts, will also be made easy, among others, by removing duplicate testing and certification requirements.

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