16 October 2019
The Protocol to Upgrade to China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA) takes effect on October 16. It was announced at a top-level meeting of 15th China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s deputy prime minister.
The original CSFTA was in force from 2009, and the two countries started to negotiate for an upgrade in 2015. After eight rounds of talks and three years, the two sides inked a modernized trade agreement in November 2018 in Singapore. It was witnessed by Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Because the original agreement had already eliminated almost all tariffs restricting bilateral merchandise trade flows, the upgraded version of the agreement mainly improves on reducing non-tariff barriers to trade, services and investment.
… But throughout the years by slowing down RCEP progress, India has been saying “no” to what would be the world’s largest and most populous regional trade agreement. As the RCEP summit date draws nearer, it is time for India to finally say “yes” to RCEP.
… Ji Xianbai is a research fellow with the International Political Economy Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
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Last updated on 18/10/2019