European shipowners pleased with the signature of the EU-Singapore trade agreement

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The EU and Singapore signed landmark agreements during last week’s Asia-Europe summit. “European shipowners welcome the fact that the EU and Singapore show their commitment to free, fair and rules-based trade at a time that protectionism is on the rise”, said ECSA’s Secretary General Martin Dorsman, “The EU-Singapore FTA text contains the liberalisation principles of international maritime transport services.”

“Shipping needs global trade to exist and global trade cannot exist without an efficient shipping industry. Southeast Asia is a key partner for European shipping companies with Singapore being the EU’s largest ASEAN partner, accounting for almost one third of EU-ASEAN trade in goods and services,” Dorsman added.

The EU-Singapore trade and investment agreements are the first bilateral trade and investment agreements concluded between the EU and a member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Last week another important step in the EU-ASEAN trade cooperation was taken when the European Commission adopted the EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements and presented them to the Council for its approval.ECSA welcomes as well this development as Vietnam is an important partner for the shipping sector, being the EU’s second largest ASEAN trading partner.

European shipowners look forward to the quick ratification by the European Parliament of the EU-Singapore agreement so it can enter into force before the end of the current mandate of the European Commission in 2019. Also the Council is called upon to swiftly approve the EU-Vietnam agreement.