Another Strong Year of EU-Singapore Economic Relationship, but an EU-Singapore FTA Would Create Additional Opportunities (21/06/2012)

SINGAPORE, 21 June 2012 - 2011 saw another year of a robust economic relationship between the European Union (EU) and Singapore, and the momentum is set to continue.

Last year, with 11% share of Singapore's total trade, the EU kept its position as Singapore's largest export market.

The figure was released by the European Union Delegation to Singapore here today at the launch of the EU-Singapore Trade & Investment 2012 publication. The publication also revealed that EU-Singapore trade in goods increased last year by 7%, peaking to a record level of S$106 billion; while trade in services also rose significantly.

"I am pleased to note that 2011 was another year of a dynamic economic friendship for the EU and Singapore. Trade in goods and services produced record trade flows and outperformed themselves compared to the previous year," said Ambassador Marc Ungeheuer, Head of the EU Delegation to Singapore here today.

He added that judging from the trade and investment figures, there are still plenty of untapped business opportunities for both the EU and Singapore.

"There are still plenty of business deals to be sealed and even more growth opportunities in both markets. That's why the EU and Singapore are now negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. The best is yet to be," he added. EU-Singapore FTA negotiations started in 2010 and may be completed later this year if both sides manage to bridge the remaining issues.

To the EU, Singapore is its fifth largest trading partner in Asia and 13th largest in the world.

Other achievements of the EU-Singapore economic performance highlighted in the publication include:

  • The EU was Singapore's largest supplier of goods in 2011 with a share of 12.6% of Singapore's total imports. The EU was also the largest export market for Singapore representing 15.2% of Singapore's non-oil domestic exports.
  • The EU is Singapore's largest trading partner in services. Trade in services amounted to S$41.5 billion in 2010 (latest available figure).
  • The EU is the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Singapore. The EU's FDI stock rose to S$169 billion in 2010 (latest available figure), representing 27% of all the accumulated FDI.
  • European companies have a large business presence in Singapore with more than 8,800 companies here, which are supported by the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) and the European national business groups.
  • The EU is ASEAN's second largest trading partner and ASEAN's largest foreign investor. Considering ASEAN as a single trading entity would make it the fifth largest trading partner of the EU, representing 5% of the EU's total external trade. Among the ASEAN countries, Singapore is the largest trading and investment partner of the EU.

Background

The EU Delegation to Singapore annually gathers data and statistics on trade and investment between Singapore and the EU, to make an annual assessment on trade and investment relations between the two partners. The strong economic ties between the EU and Singapore are of particular significance in the current period of financial and economic crises. The ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between the EU and Singapore, launched in March 2010, are a proof of the importance both parties attach to further deepening their economic relations.

The EU is the world's largest economy with 26% of the world's GDP and 502 million consumers. The EU is the world's largest trading bloc, the world's largest investor, and the world's prime investment destination. It has a single market, a single tariff and a single set of trading rules.