BRUSSELS, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU), after nearly three years of negotiations, agreed on terms of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Singapore on Sunday.

The EU, in a statement released on its website, called the deal "one of the most comprehensive the EU has ever negotiated." The EU believed it would create new opportunities for companies from Europe and Singapore to do business together.

"Singapore is a dynamic market for EU companies and is a vital hub for doing business across Southeast Asia. This agreement is key to unlocking the gateway to the region and can be a catalyst for growth for EU exporters," said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

An EU-Singapore FTA will be the EU's second ambitious agreement with a key Asian trading partner, after the EU-South Korea FTA entering into operation in July 2011.

"After our agreement with South Korea, sealing this deal with Singapore clearly puts the EU on the map in Asia. But we do not intend to stop here - I hope it will open the doors for FTAs with other countries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region," De Gucht said.

The deal, according to the EU, will create new opportunities in many services sectors, including banking, insurance and other financial services industries, as well as in public tendering. It will also cut down on the red-tape and double-testing that hampers business.

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