High-level representatives from the EFTA States and Singapore met on 16 February 2023 in a virtual format to launch the negotiations on a Digital Economy Agreement and adopt the following statement:
Joint Statement by the EFTA States and Singapore on the Launch of Negotiations on a Digital Economy Agreement
Today marks the launch of negotiations between the EFTA States and Singapore on a Digital Economy Agreement.
The EFTA States and Singapore share robust and longstanding economic relations. Our trade and investment linkages have been growing strongly, underpinned by the EFTA-Singapore Free Trade Agreement that entered into force in 2003.
The Digital Economy Agreement will further strengthen this partnership and create new opportunities for companies and individuals of the five countries. As digitally progressive and like-minded economic partners, the EFTA States and Singapore are committed to open and connected digital economies. We recognise the potential of coherent rules on digital trade to provide a clear and secure framework that fosters trade in goods and services. Through the digital trade provisions that we aim to put in place, EFTA and Singapore will build on and complement other international processes and initiatives including the ongoing negotiations in the context of the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce.
Together, the EFTA States and Singapore can play a leading role in setting high-standard digital trade rules between our regions and raising the ambition of digital standards globally.
For the EFTA States:
- Dominique Hasler, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport, Liechtenstein & Chair of the EFTA Council
- Guy Parmelin, Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Switzerland
- Martin Eyjólfsson, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iceland
- Petter Ølberg, Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Norway, Geneva
- S Iswaran, Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, Singapore
Total trade between the parties has been growing exponentially over the last twenty years. In 2021, 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 (80.3%), while most exports to Singapore were organic chemicals (44.6%) and clocks and watches (21.6%). 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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