EFTA and Singapore convene for seventh round of negotiations towards a Digital Economy Agreement

Published 26-01-2024
Members of the EFTA and Singapore delegations.

The seventh round of negotiations towards an EFTA-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) took place via videoconference on 25 January 2024. Esther Hauert Wermuth, Head of the Trade in Services Division at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, acted as the EFTA spokesperson, while Singapore’s delegation was led by Chua Shun Loong, Director for Europe in Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Delegations addressed all open elements in an already advanced negotiation text. They made additional headway, among others by concluding the articles setting out the objectives of the DEA, as well as on information sharing on the agreement. In addition, they furthered their understanding and sounded out landing zones under different articles, including those pertaining to digital identities and artificial intelligence.

The EFTA States and Singapore committed to detailed follow-up activities, with a view to paving the way for additional progress at the next exchanges, which are expected to take place in February and March 2024.

Learn more about the overall DEA process here.

Economic relations between the EFTA States and Singapore

Total trade between the EFTA States and Singapore has grown exponentially over the last 20 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 also at a high level.

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