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The EU and Singapore completed the negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement on 17 October 2014. The initialled agreement needs now to be formally approved by the European Commission and then agreed upon by the Council of Ministers and ratified by the European Parliament.

In 2015, the EU sought an opinion of the European Court of Justice to clarify the EU competence to sign and ratify the free trade agreement with Singapore. The Court delivered its opinion on the division of competences in May 2017 (read factsheet). Following the opinion, a debate with the Council and the European Parliament on the best architecture for EU trade agreements and investment protection agreements is ongoing.

Singapore is by far the EU's largest commercial partner in ASEAN, accounting for slightly under one-third of EU-ASEAN trade in goods and services, and roughly two-thirds of investments between the two regions. Over 10,000 EU companies are established in Singapore and use it as a hub to serve the whole Pacific Rim.

Trade picture

  • Singapore is the EU's 17th largest trading partner (trade in goods) and the EU's largest trading partner in the Association of South-East Nations (ASEAN).
  • EU-Singapore trade in goods grew by some 17% between 2008 and 2014, while trade in services grew even faster, by almost 40% between 2008 and 2013.
  • The EU has a positive balance of trade in goods and in services with Singapore.
  • Singapore is a major destination for European investments in Asia, as well as Asia's second largest investor in the EU (after Japan). In 2013, the existing stock of bilateral foreign direct investment between the EU and Singapore was roughly € 140 billion, having expanded rapidly over the past years.

EU-Singapore: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2014-2016, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2014 16.9 28.3 11.4
2015 19.0 29.7 10.7
2016 19.4 31.4 12.0

EU-Singapore: Trade in services

Trade in services 2013-2015, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2013 14.7 17.0 2.2
2014 16.2 20.6 4.4
2015 21.5 25.6 4.2

EU-Singapore: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2015, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2015 58.6 154.1 95.5

Date of retrieval: 15/02/2017

More statistics on Singapore

EU and Singapore

After "region-to-region" negotiations held between 2007 and 2009 on a free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and ASEAN countries proved difficult, negotiations for an EU-Singapore FTA were launched in March 2010. The EU considers the FTAs with individual ASEAN countries as building blocks towards an agreement in the regional framework, which remains the ultimate goal.

The EUSFTA is the first deal between the EU and a Southeast Asian economy and constitutes a stepping stone to greater engagement between the EU and Southeast Asia.

Singapore and ASEAN

Singapore is a member of ASEAN and is the EU's largest trading partner in the block. Bilateral trade in goods and services between the EU and ASEAN reached over €235 billion in 2013, of which EU-Singapore trade makes up about a third.

Pending the entry into force of the EU-Singapore FTA, the co-operation between both sides is ensured mainly through the EU-ASEAN Dialogue, which includes discussions on trade and investment issues at ministerial and senior economic official levels.

ASEAN as a whole represents the EU's third largest trading partner outside Europe (after the US and China). Negotiating better access for EU exporters to the dynamic ASEAN market is a priority for the EU.

More information on ASEAN

Trading with Singapore