Esther Hauert Wermuth, Head of the Trade in Services Division at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, acted as the EFTA spokesperson, while Chua Shun Loong, Director for Europe in Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, headed Singapore’s delegation.
Delegations held in-depth exchanges on all articles tabled for the planned DEA and made significant headway. Throughout the discussions, the article on the ban of customs duties on electronic transmissions and several individual provisions and definitions were agreed.
The EFTA States and Singapore further exchanged on their respective approaches to the provisions on cross-border data flows, location of computing facilities, and personal information protection and privacy. These provisions had additionally been discussed in depth during a dedicated experts meeting on 13 April 2023.
Detailed follow-up activities were agreed upon by the EFTA States and Singapore to prepare for the third round of negotiations, which is set to take place in mid-May 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.
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