ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Singapore, China wraps up trade talks
Singapore and China have successfully concluded negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement, AFP quoted the city-state as saying in a statement Thursday.
It said the bilateral deal builds on a free trade agreement already reached between China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), to which Singapore belongs.
The agreement with Singapore "is the first comprehensive bilateral Free Trade Agreement concluded by China with an Asian country," the statement said.
It said the deal covers trade in goods, rules of origin, trade remedies, trade in services, movement of persons, investment, customs procedures, technical barriers to trade, sanitary measures and economic cooperation.
Asean as a whole already has free trade agreements covering trade and services with China. The two sides aim to finalise an investment agreement by December.
Singapore and China hope to sign their pact in October.
Singapore's trade with China rose to a record high of S$91.6 billion ($63.7 billion) in 2007.
China is Singapore's third-largest trading partner, and Singapore is China's eighth-largest trading partner, the Singapore statement said.
China is Singapore's top investment destination, and Singapore is China's seventh-largest investor, it added.
Both sides also concluded negotiations for a memorandum of understanding on labour cooperation, it said.
Singapore, heavily dependent on external trade, has forged a series of free trade agreements with major trading partners to help ensure its economy will have market access.