Connect with us

Law

EU-Singapore FTA to be concluded

Last week the EU announced that it was on the verge of concluding its free trade agreement with Singapore.

Avatar

Published

on

Asean EU

Last week the EU announced that it was on the verge of concluding its free trade agreement with Singapore. I’ll have some comments on the EU-Singapore FTA when the final text comes out.

This agreement is important because it will be the first FTA concluded by the EU with an ASEAN country, following up on the EU’s process of negotiating FTAs on a country by country basis rather than with ASEAN as a whole.

Asean EU

For ASEAN’s other trading partners, the EU-Singapore FTA is a reminder that ASEAN has a broad scope in its trade policy, looking beyond its immediate region.

The EU’s attempt to negotiate an EU-ASEAN FTA stalled several years ago due to the political difficulties of negotiating an FTA that included Myanmar, and with institutional issues in ASEAN (the EU thought that it could negotiate directly with ASEAN, but the ASEAN FTAs are actually a collection of 10 bilateral FTAs with the trading partner, with the 10 ASEAN members negotiating on a collective basis).

The EU-Singapore FTA had been anticipated for conclusion in October 2011, but has been delayed to the point that Malaysia anticipated concluding its FTA talks with the EU before Singapore. Informed sources told me that the EU-Singapore FTA had been largely completed last year. So why the delay?

There are several reasons often cited for this delay, but the one most cited was the lack of an EU-Singapore tax cooperation agreement.

Several EU members have long been concerned about its citizens using Singapore as a tax haven. Last month’s financial information cooperation agreement between Germany and Singapore thus eliminated this major hurdle, clearing the way for formal acceptance of the EU-Singapore FTA later this year.

The EU is now in FTA talks or preparatory FTA talks with several ASEAN members including Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. The EU-Singapore FTA will thus provide a basic template for those EU FTAs, although perhaps not an exact duplicate, due to agriculture being a less sensitive issue for trade between the EU and Singapore.

For the talks involving the other ASEAN members, raw agricultural products exported from ASEAN will be an issue for the EU, and processed agricultural products exported from the EU to ASEAN (e.g., those subsidized by the EU’s Common Agricultural Program will be an issue for ASEAN). Nevertheless, the major points of the EU-Singapore FTA, particularly with regard to services and investment, will be closely studied by the other ASEAN members.

For ASEAN’s other trading partners, the EU-Singapore FTA is a reminder that ASEAN has a broad scope in its trade policy, looking beyond its immediate region.

Although the US has had an FTA with Singapore for more than ten years now, it does not have an FTA with any other ASEAN members.

If and when the EU concludes its FTA talks with Malaysia or other ASEAN members, it will represent a competitive advantage for the EU vis-à-vis the US (one which it already has in Myanmar, as the US maintains many of its Burma sanctions). That, combined with the impending start of ASEAN’s Regional Economic Cooperation talks with its trading partners, indicates that perhaps the United States needs to augment its trade policy in the region beyond the Trans Pacific Partnership talks.

via AEC Blog: EU-Singapore FTA Finally Arrives.

Edmund SimEdmund Sim is a U.S. international trade lawyer at the Singapore office of Appleton Luff and adjunct associate professor of law at National University of Singapore. There, he teaches the first course developed on the law and policy of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). You can follow him via AEC Blog.

Note: This article was published on behalf of  AEC Blog, the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily state or reflect the views of  Thailand Business News

I am a U.S. international trade lawyer at the Singapore office of Appleton Luff and adjunct associate professor of law at National University of Singapore. There, I teach the first course developed on the law and policy of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). I have also advised the ASEAN Secretariat in an EU-funded assistance project on the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), and represented companies in dealing with the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation (AICO) scheme, Common External Preferential Tariff (CEPT) program and other ASEAN economic integration

Comments

Companies

Thailand’s Amendments to Ease Doing Business

Thailand’s government approved new amendments to the country’s Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) aimed at improving the business climate.

Avatar

Published

on

In June 2020, Thailand’s government approved new amendments to the Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) to simplify the process of setting up and conducting business in the country. It is anticipated that the proposed amendments will become law towards the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Law

Thailand Vs Asia: Gambling Laws Comparison

Whereas Singapore and The Philippines have lax gambling laws, Thailand has some of the strictest gambling laws in Southeast Asia. Betting on horse racing and the government-sponsored lottery are the only two forms of legal gambling in the country.

Pr News

Published

on

By

With the continual development of new technologies improving gambling services, the gambling market is growing rapidly across the globe.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Law

Thailand’s illegal gambling market

Police in Thailand are tasked with monitoring illegal gambling. Raids regularly take place that result in fines and or jail time for people found to be hosting or playing in illegal gambling events.

Pr News

Published

on

By

Almost every form of gambling is illegal in Thailand and has been since 1935. But while the neon flashing world of online gambling was still the stuff of science fiction in the prelude to World War Two – when Thailand’s gambling laws were made – the remote sector is still banned in the country.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Cart

Most Viewed

Events Calendar

« September 2020 » loading...
M T W T F S S
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,935 other subscribers

Latest

Trending