On November 12, witnessed by Premier Li Keqiang and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, China International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying and Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing signed The Protocol to Upgrade the Free Trade Agreement in Singapore on behalf of the two governments.

Signing the Protocol is an important step to facilitate the establishment of free trade areas and build an open world economy put forward at the 19th CPC National Congress. To further giving play to the bilateral, economic and trade cooperation potential and deepening the economic and trade cooperation between China and the ASEAN countries, this is of great significance. The signing of the Protocol will not only further enrich the content of the "all-round cooperative partnership with the times", but will also play a positive role in deepening the economic and trade relations between China and ASEAN.

The Protocol upgrades the rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade relief, trade in services, investment, and economic cooperation of the original China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. It also adds 3 areas including e-commerce, competition policy and environment. The Protocol has achieved a comprehensive, high-level, mutually beneficial and win-win negotiation goal, which will help the two sides deepen pragmatic cooperation in relevant fields and continuously promote the two countries' enterprises and enhance the well-being of their people.

The two sides added the Belt and Road cooperation in the free trade agreement for the first time, emphasizing that the Belt and Road Initiative means greatly to the deepening of bilateral cooperation, the achieving of common development goals, the establishing and strengthening of interconnection and the promoting of regional peace and development. In the field of customs procedures and rules of origin, both sides will present a higher level of trade facilitation and reduce the trade costs of enterprises. The two sides also simplify the specific standards of origin rules for some chemical products. In the field of service trade, the two sides upgrade the trade commitments of the original FTA services, including express delivery, environment, air transport, law, construction, and shipping, and mutually enhance the level of service trade liberalization. In the investment field, the two sides agreed to give the each other's investors a high level of investment protection, mutual granting of post-establishment national treatment and MFN status, and incorporate a comprehensive dispute resolution mechanism between investors and host countries. In the field of natural person movement, both sides signed The Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Singapore on the Transparency and Facilitation of Employment Permission Applications. The two sides have reached broad consensuses in areas such as e-commerce, competition policy and the environment.

After the signing of the Protocol, the two sides will implement relevant domestic procedures to enable the upgrading agreement on China-Singapore Free Trade Area to enter into force as soon as possible.

Approved by:MINISTRY OF COMMERCE,PRC     Supported by:China International Electronic Commerce Center