World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey and Singapore have paved the way for a new free trade deal which has the potential to reduce barriers in bilateral trade and investment.
Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and Singaporean Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat inked the Free Trade Agreement on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Antalya on Saturday.
The agreement, which is expected to be ratified by 2017, will be Turkey’s first comprehensive FTA in a single undertaking.
The deal covers a wide range of areas, including trade in goods and services, investment, government procurement, and newer areas such as intellectual property rights, e-commerce, competition and transparency.
Negotiations for the deal were launched by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Turkey’s then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now president, during the latter’s visit to Singapore in January 2014.
Turkey will remove tariffs for Singapore exports on over 80 percent of products immediately after the agreement enters into force. This will rise to more than 95 percent over 10 years, according Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The deal will help more Singapore companies leverage Turkey's strategic location as a gateway to larger markets in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Companies from Turkey will also be encouraged to use Singapore as a hub to seek opportunities in Southeast Asia and beyond.
Bilateral trade in the first nine months of the year was around $610 million, including $343 million imports from Turkey. Trade between the two nations last year stood at $1.21 billion.
Singapore will participate in the Antalya Summit together with G20 members.Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Kasım 2015, 13:11