EFTA States and Singapore hold first round of negotiations towards a Digital Economy Agreement

Published 09-03-2023
High-level members of the EFTA and Singapore delegations
The EFTA States and Singapore held the first negotiation round on their planned Digital Economy Agreement on 8 March 2023 in a virtual format.

The EFTA delegation was led by Esther Hauert Wermuth, Head of the Trade in Services Division at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. Chua Shun Loong, Director for Europe in Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, acted as Singapore’s spokesperson.

Delegations worked on a consolidated negotiation document and held a first exchange on all articles tabled for the planned Digital Economy Agreement, clarifying the rationale for their respective text proposals and providing preliminary reactions. 

The EFTA States and Singapore agreed to detailed follow-up activities to pave the way for in-depth text-based negotiations during the second negotiation round, scheduled for mid-April 2023.  

Economic relations between the EFTA States and Singapore

Total trade between the parties has been growing exponentially over the last twenty years. In 2022, total merchandise trade between the EFTA States and Singapore reached more than USD 10 billion. The main imports to the EFTA States were pharmaceutical products (80%), while most exports to Singapore were organic chemicals (25%) and clocks and watches (12%). Services trade and foreign direct investment between the knowledge- and technology-driven economies are likewise at a high level. 

Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and Singapore here.


How might the planned agreement benefit the economies and citizens of the 5 states? Watch our explanatory video. 

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