United States and Singapore Welcome Increased Trade and Investment from Free Trade Agreement
Washington D.C. -- U.S. and Singaporean officials met in Singapore today and welcomed the continued increase in trade and investment since the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries entered into force on January 1, 2004. Two-way trade has surged 34 percent since the FTA came into force and Singapore is now the United States’ ninth largest export market, moving up from eleventh place in 2003.
Officials from the United States and Singapore, who met for the third annual review of the FTA, also noted the continued strong growth in investment flows since the FTA entered into force. The FTA has further enhanced Singapore's attractiveness as an investment destination, and it is now the third largest recipient of U.S. foreign direct investment in the Asia-Pacific, after Australia and Japan. The FTA also has helped to add momentum to Singapore’s initiatives to develop as a regional and global hub for medical technology, financial services, and transport and shipping.
“Our FTA with Singapore has deepened and strengthened our trade and investment ties with one of the world’s most vibrant economies,” said Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Barbara Weisel, who led the U.S. delegation. “We look forward to continuing to enhance our partnership, which has already delivered benefits for the people of both of our countries.”
Deputy Secretary of Trade Loh Wai Keong led the Singapore delegation. Both government’s officials expressed satisfaction with the ongoing implementation of the FTA and its significant benefits to both countries. The continuing benefits of the FTA send a strong signal to the world about how free trade and a level playing field for businesses generates economic opportunities and spurs growth.
The two sides held constructive discussions on a wide range of issues, including intellectual property, telecommunications, regulatory issues that affect trade between the two countries and possible future cooperation on environmental issues, which is a priority for both countries. In addition, the United States and Singapore exchanged ideas on how to continue in their joint efforts to promote trade and intra-regional integration among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The United States and Singapore share a strong partnership on a range of economic issues, including efforts to conclude the WTO Doha negotiations. Singapore also remains a strong proponent of active U.S. engagement in East Asia. It has been strongly supportive of the U.S.-Korea FTA and of the vision of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific [(FTAAP)]. In addition, with Singapore’s support, the United States concluded a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with ASEAN countries last August.
Singapore is the United States’ 15th largest trading partner. U.S. goods exports in 2006 totaled $24.7 billion, up 19.6 percent from the previous year. Major U.S. imports from Singapore were $17.8 billion, up 17.7 percent from 2005. The major U.S. exports to Singapore included machinery; electrical machinery; aircraft and parts; and optical/medical instruments. U.S. foreign direct investment in Singapore totaled more than $48 billion in 2005 (the latest available data) and is concentrated largely in the manufacturing, wholesale trade, information and professional scientific and technical services sectors.