EU-Singapore agree on Partnership and Cooperation Agreement

New Europe | 3 June 2012

EU- Singapore agree on Partnership and Cooperation Agreement

BY ELENA RALLI

EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton and Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K. Shanmugam confirmed last Friday the conclusion of negotiations on an EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).

As High Representative Ashton stated: “This Agreement is a qualitative step forward in our bilateral engagement and complements and reinforces the Free Trade Agreement, for which negotiations have recently been concluded. The EU and Singapore already have long-standing and friendly relations. We work together bilaterally, as well as in international and regional fora, in particular in ASEA’ where Singapore is a key player.” And added: “The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement reflects a renewed commitment to reinforce these growing ties and take our engagement to a higher level."

The PCA, that is based on universally recognized principles, will give the EU - Singapore relations a new wider and more comprehensive foundation. In particular, it aims to ensure cooperation between the two parties in fields such as non-proliferation, security, energy, maritime transport, air services, science and technology. In addition, the PCA is expected to facilitating mobility of students and scholars within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus programme and further promote cultural exchanges and diversity.

Around 3000 European companies are currently established and operate in Singapore. The EU is Singapore’s second major export partner and fourth major import partner with the EU accounting for about 11% of Singapore’s total external trade. The EU is also by far the largest source of foreign investment in Singapore (about € 50 billion in 2005).

Similar agreements have been signed with Indonesia in 2009 and with Vietnam and the Philippines in summer 2012, and are currently being negotiated with Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei, as part of the overall EU engagement with the South-East Asia region.

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source: New Europe