Canada-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

Additional Information

As Singapore is a strategically placed trading partner, a free trade agreement (FTA) has the potential to yield meaningful economic benefits for Canada, especially in the areas of investment and services. An FTA would not only raise Canada’s profile in Singapore, but would facilitate goods and services trade, as well as improve Canada’s ability to participate in global value chains by taking advantage of Singapore’s position as a pre-eminent hub in the region.

Update on Negotiations

Canadian and Singaporean officials met on August 13-15, 2007, in Ottawa, for the eighth round of negotiations. Despite progress made, more work remains to be done on issues such as market access for services and investment in order to secure a satisfactory outcome for Canadians.

The Government of Canada remains committed to reaching a deal that will benefit Canadian business in this dynamic and strategically-placed market. No date has yet been set for a next negotiating round.

Background

The Canadian and Singaporean Prime Ministers announced the launch of negotiations of an FTA on October 21, 2001 (News Release). Six rounds of negotiations were held between January 2002 and October 2003. Talks were suspended in December 2003, over an impasse on certain provisions of the FTA. Following consultations with key Canadian stakeholders and discussions with Singaporean officials on the main outstanding issues, in November 2006, Minister of International Trade David L. Emerson and his Singaporean counterpart, Minister Lim Hng Kiang, agreed to resume talks. Consequently, the seventh round of negotiations was held on February 26-March 2, 2007, in Singapore.

Negotiations cover a wide range of topics, including trade in goods, trade in services, financial services, investment, government procurement, dispute settlement and competition policy. Labour and environmental issues are addressed in parallel meetings in fulfilment of Canada's intention to pursue side agreements with Singapore in these areas.

Singapore is already an important trade and investment partner for Canada in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2006, Canadian merchandise exports to Singapore were valued at $739.3 million, while Canada’s imports from Singapore were $985.4 million. Canada’s exports of services to Singapore amounted to $324 million, while services imports from Singapore were valued at $937 million in 2005, the latest year for which this data is available. Canadian foreign direct investment (FDI) in Singapore is significant totalling $4.0 billion in 2006. Singaporean FDI into Canada was smaller, valued at $41 million in 2006.