On April 1, witnessed by the Premier of the State Council Li Qiang and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao and Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore jointly signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore on announcing the substantive completion of the follow-up negotiations on the China-Singapore FTA upgrade, confirming the substantive completion of the follow-up negotiations on the FTA upgrade between the two countries. The teams of both sides will continue their follow-up work, such as legal scrub and translation of the text, complete their respective domestic procedures so as to sign the agreement as soon as possible.

This agreement is the first time that China has adopted the negative list approach to make an opening up commitment on services and investment in free trade agreements. On the basis of the original upgrade agreement, the two sides further improved the commitment level for market access of service trade and investment, added a telecommunications chapter, and incorporated high-level economic and trade rules such as national treatment, market access, transparency and digital economy. The two sides also jointly confirmed that the opening up measures on service trade and investment will not be withdrawn, and promised to "open up even wider" to each other by agreement. The agreement is an important measure and practical move for China to meet high-standard international economic and trade rules and promote all-round opening-up, which will effectively boost China-Singapore economic cooperation and trade.

China and Singapore signed the FTA in 2008 and upgraded it in 2018. In the upgrade agreement in 2018, the two sides enhanced the standard of rules in trade facilitation, rules of origin, economic and technological cooperation, and e-commerce. In December 2020, the two sides upgraded the agreement again, initiated follow-up negotiations, and promoted further liberalization of service trade and investment based on the negative list model.


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