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Singapore, Turkey Sign Free Trade Deal

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

19 November 2015

The finance ministers of Singapore and Turkey have signed a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement that will remove the majority of taxes on trade between the two countries over the coming years.

The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the recent G20 summit in Ankara, includes Turkey's first treaty commitments in government procurement and newer elements such as intellectual property rights, e-commerce, competition, and transparency. The agreement is also expected to enhance access to each country's services sectors.

According to the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, Turkey will eliminate 80 percent of all tariffs on imports from Singapore immediately upon the entry into force of the agreement, rising to 95 per cent of all tariffs over a period of 10 years.

The Ministry said that the agreement would "help more Singapore companies to leverage Turkey's strategic location as a gateway to the larger regional markets in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa." Likewise, more Turkish companies are expected to take advantage of the FTA by using Singapore as a base for expanding their operations in the Association of South East Asian Nations free trade area, which also includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

There are currently about 10 Singapore companies in Turkey says the ministry, while 67 Turkish companies are operating in Singapore.

TAGS: tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | Brunei | commerce | intellectual property | tariffs | Laos | Philippines | Singapore | Thailand | agreements | e-commerce | Cambodia | Indonesia | Malaysia | G20 | trade | Turkey | Vietnam | services | Middle East and Africa | Europe | Africa | Middle East

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