The move is being seen as a major boon for the EU as last year trade with Singapore generated around €74billion worth of trade. It is the second such deal to be made with an Asian country following last year’s agreement with South Korea. The EU is Singapore’s second biggest trade partner after Malaysia
The EU commission hopes that the deal –which has not yet been signed off by politicians- will help the regions exports of cars and financial services, both sectors that have struggled during the Euro crisis.
EU trade officials want the Singapore deal to set a precedent for trade deals with other countries in ASEAN. The EU is currently negotiating free trade pacts with Malaysia and Vietnam, and hopes one day to forge a region-to-region trade agreement.
“We have finalized the negotiations, and I’m very pleased with the result,” EU trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told Reuters “What I think is more important than just trade with Singapore, is setting a number of standards in services that we will try to enlarge to the whole region”.
The EU has been pushing for more free trade agreements due to the region struggling with the sovereign debt crisis and waning domestic demand for EU manufactured goods. EU trade ministers are currently in negotiations with Japan and preliminary talks are under way with the United States.
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2313
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6210
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5387
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.3161
The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.8118
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