Turkey, Singapore ratify free trade agreement
SINGAPORE, Aug 21 — Turkey and Singapore marked another milestone in their bilateral economic relations with the ratification of the Turkey-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (TRSFTA) today.
In a statement today, Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, S. Iswaran, said the agreement, signed in November 2015, would enter into force on Oct 1, 2017.
“It will create more business and investment opportunities for companies from both countries.
“Singapore and Turkey are strategically located in Asia and Europe respectively, and can serve as gateways to larger regional markets. I look forward to the further growth of business and investment ties between Turkey and Singapore,” he said.
According to Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), negotiations on the TRSFTA were launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Turkey’s then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in January 2014 and concluded in October 2015.
MTI said the ratification of the agreement was built upon the Strategic Partnership signed between Lee and Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in October 2014.
“The TRSFTA is Turkey’s first comprehensive free trade agreement in a single undertaking.
“It includes Turkey’s first treaty commitments in government procurement and newer elements such as intellectual property rights, e-commerce, competition and transparency,” said the ministry.
It said the TRSFTA would reduce barriers to trade and investment between Turkey and Singapore, enhance access to services sectors and procurement markets, as well as promote greater connectivity between businesses and people.
Tariffs for Singapore’s exports to Turkey on 80 per cent of all tariff lines would be eliminated immediately once the TRSFTA enters into force, it said.
It said this would increase to more than 95 per cent of all tariff lines over a period of 10 years.
“The TRSFTA will help more Singapore companies to leverage Turkey’s strategic location as a gateway to the larger regional markets in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa,” it said.
MTI said Turkish firms were also encouraged to use Singapore as their base to seek opportunities in the rapidly growing Asean region and beyond. — Bernama