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UK, Singapore sign over $17bn trade agreement

By News Desk, with agency report

The United Kingdom has disclosed that it has signed a free trade deal with Singapore as part of measures to ensure both countries have increased access to each other’s markets.

It explained that the deal covering 17.6bn dollars would removes tariffs for both the countries in each other’s markets, making trade more accessible for the duo.

As stated, the deal would also facilitate reduction for both countries in non-tariff barriers in four major sectors including electronics, motor vehicles and parts, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and renewable energy.

Announcing the deal on Thursday through a joint ministerial statement by Singapore and the UK, the dou said tariffs will remain eliminated for 84 per cent of all tariff lines for Singapore exports to the UK under the agreement.

According to the statement, all of the tariffs will be eliminated by 21 November 2024, similar to the EU-Singapore FTA.

The agreement came as British and EU negotiators begin a final push to salvage chances of a post-Brexit trade deal.

Reacting to the development through her social media page, Britain International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss,said the agreement represent the biggest with Asian country.

“Today I signed a deal with Singapore covering 17.6bn [pounds sterling] of trade – the 2nd biggest agreement we’ve signed in #AsiaPacific,’’ the post read.

On his part, Singapore’s Trade Minister, Chan Sing, described the deal as strong signals aginst strict protection in market penetration.

“Beyond the significant benefits to our respective businesses, the (deal) is a strong statement against protectionism and nativism. It will be crucial in ensuring a strong and resilient post-pandemic recovery for the world,” he said.

The deal is the UK’s first FTA with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It was especially key for Singapore which ranks the UK as its third-largest trading partner.

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