Singapore signs free trade agreement with Pacific Alliance

The signature of the Pacific Alliance-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (PASFTA) by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry and his counterparts from the Pacific Alliance, consisting of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, took place on the 16th Pacific Alliance Summit, in Bahía de Málaga, Colombia.

After concluding negotiations that lasted over four years, Singapore becomes the first associate member of the trade bloc with a combined gross domestic product of over $2 trillion. In a pre-recorded speech for the 16th Pacific Alliance Summit, PM Lee states that “PASFTA will strengthen and institutionalize the economic links between our countries”, creating opportunities for people and business. This will allow Singapore and the Pacific Alliance to cooperate in mutually beneficial areas such as the digital economy, logistics and infrastructure, and food trade.

Currently, the Pacific Alliance accounts for one third of Singapore’s total trade and investment with Latin America and the Caribbean.

More than 100 Singapore companies across various sectors, including trade, technology, innovation as well as infrastructure, operate in Pacific Alliance countries. Similarly, large companies from the Pacific Alliance have established a presence in Singapore.

“We hope that more companies from the Pacific Alliance will follow and use Singapore as a gateway to develop markets and seize business opportunities in our region”, PM Lee said.

The countries will now work on their ratification processes to bring the agreement into force, according to MTI. The FTA will go into effect after Singapore and two Pacific Alliance member states ratify the free trade agreement.