Breakthrough in multilateral trade negotiations – Channel NewsAsia

 

SINGAPORE: Asia-Pacific economies are one step closer to sealing a multilateral free trade agreement.

Leaders from nine economies have agreed on the broad terms for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and they have set an ambitious target of eight months to finalise it.

The agreement was reached on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Honolulu.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the TPP is an additional “safety raft” for APEC economies, with Europe mired in a debt crisis.

For Singapore, it’ll provide another avenue for growth.

Leaders of the nine APEC economies have described the TPP as a “comprehensive, next-generation regional agreement” that addresses new trade issues in the 21st century.

The TPP is broader in scope, as compared with a traditional Free Trade Agreement #FTA#.

It also has a new set of what is termed as “cross-cutting commitments” – which aims at reducing costs, promoting seamless trade flows and getting more small- and medium-sized enterprises to take part in international trade.

For Singapore, it offers a competitive advantage.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: “When you are in an FTA, it gives you more assured access and better access into the markets, in this case America, Japan, Australia, Malaysia. You have different benefits. You can have benefits in terms of rules which are favourable to us. You can have benefits in terms of the tariffs, which could be lower, and therefore an advantage competing against other countries which are not within the FTA and have to face higher hurdles getting into that market.

“That means our products are more competitive and more exports from our producers from Singapore. We hope the

via Breakthrough in multilateral trade negotiations – Channel NewsAsia.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s