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Singapore - Latest News/Current Events, Economic Overview & Trade Relations

AEI | Quick Facts about Singapore

Official Name Republic of Singapore
Capital Singapore
Location Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia
Area total: 692.7 sq km land: 682.7 sq km water: 10 sq km
Climate tropical; hot, humid, rainy; two distinct monsoon seasons - Northeastern monsoon (December to March) and Southwestern monsoon (June to September); inter-monsoon - frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms
Terrain lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve

Singapore dollar climbs to 2-day high against U.S. and Hong Kong counterparts

During early deals on Wednesday, the Singapore dollar climbed to a 2-day high against its U.S. and Hong Kong counterparts as a rebound in Asian stocks increased demand for emerging market assets. On the other hand, the Singapore currency edged down against…

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Singapore Tourist Arrivals Dip 15%

Visitor arrivals to Singapore declined 15 percent in February compared to a year ago as the global economic downturn cut consumer spending and holiday plans.

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Singapore Economy Might Be Near Bottom

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the Singapore economy could reach a bottom within the next six months.

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Singapore Inflation Eases In February

Inflation in Singapore continued to ease in February, dropping by 0.5 percent over January.

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Singapore Government To Buffer Impact Of Global Economic Crisis

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently said in a BBC interview that the government will help buffer the impact of the global economic downturn on Singaporeans and businesses, but the country will not start to recover until the global economy…

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Banks More Bearish On Singapore

Major investment banks have slashed growth forecasts for Singapore as the weakening global economy hits the country's export industry.

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Trade Agreements

ASEAN - China Free Trade Area

The ASEAN - China Free Trade Agreement will apply in an area involving 1.7 billion consumers, making it the world's largest trading area. The agreement currently establishes a zero-tariff market. The agreement now contains trade in goods, services and dispute settlement. Investment is still under negotiation.

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ASEAN - Korea Free Trade Area

Under the ASEAN- Korea Free Trade Agreement, Korean businesses will gain access to the ASEAN market, which contains nearly 500 million people. The agreement contains trade in goods and tariffs will be either eliminated or reduced on Korean products. http://www.aseansec.org/18063.htm

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ASEAN Free Trade Area

Initiated in 1992, ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) main mechanism used to reduce tariffs in ASEAN. It originally contained six members (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) the other four members (Vietnam -1995, Laos -1997, Myanmar-1997 and Cambodia-1999) joined after the original agreement was signed. In order to join ASEAN, they had to agree to AFTA. The overall objective of AFTA is to encourage more foreign investment to ASEAN and establish ASEAN as a world competitor by eliminating both tariff and non-tariff barriers within ASEAN. Over the next 15 years, ASEAN agreed to reduce tariffs 0-5%. http://www.aseansec.org/19346.htm

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European Free Trade Assoc.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement


In force since 2003, the Free Trade Agreement between the EFTA States and Singapore encompasses trade in goods, services and investments. EFTA's agreement with Singapore is the most substantive agreement regarding services that EFTA has entered. The agreement allows for both foreign and domestic investments. A joint committee oversees the Agreement. http://secretariat.efta.int/Web/ExternalRelations/PartnerCountries/Singapore

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Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries

Tanzania, United Republic OfTanzania, United Republic Of
Trinidad And TobagoTrinidad And Tobago

The Global System of Trade Preferences arose out of the United Nations Group of 77. The Group first appeared interested in 1976 to develop a global system of trade for developing countries. Over years of negotiations, the agreement was signed by the participating members of the Group of 77. The members are currently looking to expand their economic ties to other developing countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. http://www.unctadxi.org/templates/Page____6207.aspx

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India - Singapore Closer Economic Partnership

India's first Closer Economic Partnership Agreement was signed with Singapore in 2005 after thirteen rounds of negotiations. The agreement is also the first comprehensive bilateral agreement that Singapore has entered with a south Asia economy. A key feature of the Agreement is the avoidance of double taxation agreement. This prevents double taxation of an income earned by a resident of one member country in another member country. http://app.fta.gov.sg/data//fta/file/India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.pdf

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Japan - Singapore Economic Agreement for a New-Age Partnership

The JSEPA strives for better market access as well as national treatment conditions. The Japan Singapore agreement is the model agreement for Japan as it was its first EPA. Not only does it cover tariff reduction, JESPA synchronizes customs procedures and addresses the movement of people. http://www.fta.gov.sg/fta/pdf/FTA_JSEPA_Agreement.pdf

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Korea - Singapore Free Trade Agreement

The “Korea - Singapore Free Trade Agreement“ will allow all Korean exports to enter tariff-free to Singapore. The Korean market will also be opened to various Singapore services. Singapore will support Korea’s expansion into ASEAN while Korea will provide a bridge for Singapore to enter Northeast Asia. http://docsonline.wto.org/DDFDocuments/t/WT/REG/210-1.doc

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New Zealand - Singapore Closer Economic Partnership

One of the most comprehensive trade agreements entered into by New Zealand, The New Zealand – Singapore Closer Economic Partnership address goods, services, investment and barriers.   Through the agreement, New Zealand has set up its first technology center in Singapore encouraging international business.  Economic cooperation and the overall market access has improved significant with the agreement.  Under the agreement, both countries will: eliminate tariffs (allowing numerous Singapore exports to gain preferential market access), liberalize service sectors, commit to a set of rules and framework, establish a Mutual Recognition agreement and establish a government procurement market.http://www.fta.gov.sg/fta/pdf/anzscep.pdf

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Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement

The Singapore – Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2002 after 10 rounds of meetings and negotiations.  SAFTA will be the first bilateral free trade agreement the Australia has entered into, as the last one was in 1983 with New Zealand.  According to the agreement, all tariffs will be eliminated, Australian exporters will gain more market access and the market will be more open and predictable.  Investors from Singapore will have more opportunities to invest in   Australia.  The customs procedures will be improved and Singapore will have access to the Australian workforce.  The FTA will not only benefit the economies of both countries but the service industry as well. http://www.fta.gov.sg/fta/pdf/FTA_SAFTA_Agreement.pdf

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Singapore - Jordan Free Trade Agreement


The Singapore-Jordan Free Trade Agree is a first for both.  It is the first FTA Singapore has signed with a Middle Eastern country and Jordan’s first with an Asian country.  Along with signing the FTA, both countries created a Bilateral Investment Treaty.  Singapore hopes to gain deeper access to the Middle Eastern region through Jordan.    The agreement encourages business alliances, exploration and opportunities.  Upon implementation, products from Jordan will receive no customs duties and those coming from Singapore will see a gradual reduction of customs duties. http://www.jftp.gov.jo/Singapore.htm

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Singapore - Panama Free Trade Agreement


The Panama-Singapore Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2006 after 3 rounds of negotiations.  It is Singapore’s first FTA with a  Latin American country.  As Panama is home to the second largest free trade zone, it will provide Singapore an opening into the Americas.  A comprehensive agreement, the PSFTA will open up the markets of both countries and enhance investment and collaboration.http://app.fta.gov.sg/data///fta/Panama-Sg FTA/Singapore Consolidated Text Feb 06 - for printing.pdf

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Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement between the United States of America and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations

The Enhanced partnership between ASEAN and the United States will increase cooperation and understanding in the areas of politics, economics and safety.  EAI, Enterprise ASEAN Initiative, will strengthen economic cooperation and will allow and increase of trade and investment between both parties.  Both sides have also vowed to work together on various projects in the development arena including, fighting infectious disease and disaster relief. http://www.ustr.gov/assets/Trade_Agreements/TIFA/asset_upload_file932_9760.pdf

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Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement

The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement was concluded in 2005.  The Agreement has previously been know as the Pacific Tree FTA; however, upon the entry of Brunei, it changed to its current title.  It spans three continents, the first FTA to do so, and it seeks to connect the economies of the involved countries.  Most of the tariffs were eliminated upon entry into force as well as immediate market access.http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Trade-and-Economic-Relations/0--Trade-archive/0--Trade-agreements/Trans-Pacific/0-sep-index.php

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United States - Singapore Free Trade Agreement

United States of AmericaUnited States of America

The first FTA signed by President Bush, the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, expands the United States market access. Upon entry, Singapore will eliminate all tariffs on US goods. The United States’ 15th largest trading partner is Singapore.  The agreement contains both WTO-plus and NAFTA-plus commitments thus giving it the reputation as a landmark agreement.  It is also the first FTA between the United States and an Asian country.   The agreement will support US growth and support its establishment of other agreements with ASEAN countries.http://www.fta.gov.sg/fta/pdf/FTA_USSFTA_Agreement_Final.pdf

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Trade Organizations

ASEAN Plus 3

Forum as a coordinator of cooperation between ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea.

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Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD)

The Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) is an International Organization to promote Asian cooperation at a continental level, helping to integrate the previously separate regional organizations of political or economical cooperation such as ASEAN, SAARC

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Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries or regions (styled 'member economies') to discuss the regional economy, cooperation, trade and investment. The membership is claimed to account for approximately 41 percent of the world's population, approximately 56 percent of world GDP and about 49 percent of world trade. The activities, including year-round meetings of the members' ministers, are coordinated by the APEC Secretariat.

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Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Association of Southeast Asian Nations, commonly referred to as ASEAN, is a geo-political and economic organization of 10 countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on August 8, 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Its aims include the acceleration of economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, and the promotion of regional peace.

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Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP)

The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) is a non-governmental (second track) process for dialogue on security issues in Asia Pacific.

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East Asia Summit (EAS)

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a Pan-Asia forum of 16 countries in East Asia, with ASEAN in a leadership position.

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Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (SEP or P4 Agreement)

he Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (SEP), also known as the P4 agreement, is a multilateral free trade agreement between the countries of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore which was signed on 3 June 2005 and came into force on 28 May 2006.

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