PM Lee on Japan FTA: ’Let’s go for ambitious review’

The Straits Times, Singapore

PM Lee on Japan FTA: ’Let’s go for ambitious review’

By Elgin Toh

22 May 2013

Singapore would like the ongoing review of its free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan to be an "ambitious review", and not one resulting in just minor adjustments, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in Tokyo on Wednesday, after meetings with its top leaders.

The Japanese, he noted, had many other trade-related issues on their to-do list, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and Singapore therefore had to work hard to push the FTA review "into a more prominent position on their agenda".

He gave no timeline for the review, which Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry is working on with its Japanese counterpart.

Speaking to Singapore reporters after meeting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr Lee said he also exchanged views with Mr Abe on such issues as Japan’s engagement with Asean, its nascent economic revival and its disputes with China and South Korea.