Singapore to ink free trade deal with Latin American bloc by end of 2021

SINGAPORE – Singapore will sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of this year with the Pacific Alliance (PA), a trading bloc of four Latin American nations – Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan said on Tuesday (June 29) the agreement will enable businesses on both sides to access market opportunities and foster greater cooperation in areas such as e-commerce, customs, trade facilitation, and maritime services.

“I am pleased to share that our chief negotiators are preparing the agreement for signature by the end of this year,” Mr Tan said at a webinar hosted by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Negotiations for the Pacific Alliance-Singapore Free Trade Agreement were concluded last December, after three years of deliberations.

In 2019, Singapore’s total trade in goods with the PA stood at $6.1 billion, which accounted for 33.2 per cent of the Republic’s total merchandise trade with Latin America.

Trade in services amounted to $2.6 billion in 2018, accounting for 28.2 per cent of Singapore’s total trade in services with the region.

The FTA will make Singapore the first associate state of the alliance, Mr Tan said.

The PA was formally established in June 2012. Singapore became an Observer State to the PA in 2014 and a Candidate Associate State in 2017.

“This FTA will send a powerful message to the global community that our countries remain open for business and that despite pressures placed on economic multilateralism, we want to reach out to one another and create opportunities for our people,” said the minister.

Singapore already has existing agreements with three of the four PA countries – Chile, Mexico and Peru- that are member states of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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