UK signs trade deal with Singapore

edited December 2020 in Other Political Debate

LONDON — U.K. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss signed a rollover trade deal in Singapore Thursday.

“This is an important part of our vision for a Global Britain,” said Truss, who is visiting the region this week. She explained the deal “sits at the center of a network of deals with dynamic nations across Asia Pacific and the Americas as a global hub for services and technology trade.”

Truss and Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing also announced plans to launch negotiations for a separate Digital Economy Agreement (DEA). It would be Singapore’s first with a European country.

The U.K. trade secretary is also traveling to Vietnam later this week, where she will sign another continuity trade deal.

“Both these agreements are vital for the U.K.’s future as an independent trading nation,” Truss said. “Not only do they lock in billions of pounds worth of trade, they also pave the way for new digital partnerships and joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

Singapore and Vietnam are important trade partners for the U.K., Truss said. They are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade bloc. Truss plans to launch a bid for Britain to join the group in early 2021.

The deal with Singapore will cover £17.6 billion in trade between the nations. Business, financial and insurance services are among the top U.K. exports to the nation.

“British firms have close ties to Singapore, with £10.7 billion worth of goods and services exported there by U.K. companies last year,” said Ian Tandy, head of trade at HSBC UK, calling it “an ideal location for U.K. tech firms looking to expand.”

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