China Upgrades Free Trade Agreement with Singapore
The Chinese and Singaporean governments reached an agreement on upgrading the bilateral Free Trade Agreement on November 12.
The new agreement, according to China's Ministry of Commerce, conforms to China's pledge to promote an open world economy proposed at the Chinese Communist Party's 19th Congress. Negotiations have been ongoing since July 2015.
Based on the old agreement signed in 2008, the new agreement will see China simplify formalities related to customs clearance and transportation, connect with Singapore on origin information and expand the range of the free trade deal.
Singapore promises to open its market wider in the fields of express delivery, environmental engineering and air transport. It also agrees to give China one more quota for Qualifying Full Bank privileges that allow the involved banks to launch retail businesses in Singapore and open more premises there.
China's Belt and Road Initiative was for the first time written into the new agreement, which is expected to promote the regional economy and peace by offering more opportunities for cooperation and communication.