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US And Singapore Meet To Review FTA

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

15 May 2007

US and Singaporean officials met in Singapore on Friday, and welcomed the continued increase in trade and investment since the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries entered into force on January 1, 2004.

Two-way trade has surged 34% since the FTA came into force, it emerged last week, and Singapore is now the United States’ ninth largest export market, moving up from eleventh place in 2003.

The officials from the United States and Singapore also noted during the third annual review of the FTA the continued strong growth in investment flows since the agreement entered into force.

The FTA has further enhanced Singapore's attractiveness as an investment destination, and it is now the third largest recipient of US foreign direct investment in the Asia-Pacific, after Australia and Japan. The FTA also has helped to add momentum to Singapore’s initiatives to develop as a regional and global hub for medical technology, financial services, and transport and shipping.

“Our FTA with Singapore has deepened and strengthened our trade and investment ties with one of the world’s most vibrant economies,” announced Assistant US Trade Representative Barbara Weisel, who led the US delegation. “We look forward to continuing to enhance our partnership, which has already delivered benefits for the people of both of our countries.”

Deputy Secretary of Trade, Loh Wai Keong led the Singapore delegation.

The two sides also held constructive discussions on a wide range of issues, including intellectual property, telecommunications, regulatory issues that affect trade between the two countries, and possible future cooperation on environmental issues, which is a priority for both countries.

In addition, the United States and Singapore exchanged ideas on how to continue in their joint efforts to promote trade and intra-regional integration among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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