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Ministry of Trade and Industry, Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Business Federation co-organise symposium to commemorate 20 years of Free Trade Agreements

Wednesday, 23 October 2019 [Singapore] Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Business Federation (SBF) held a symposium today to commemorate 20 years of Singapore’s free trade agreement (FTA) strategy. FTAs help our companies grow and enable the creation of jobs. Such trade and investment partnerships also strengthen our strategic relations with other countries. Trade with our FTA partners account for 92% of our total trade in goods and services.

The full day symposium saw more than 20 speakers including trade experts, business leaders and government officials getting together to discuss the opportunities that Singapore’s FTAs provide and the impetus for a new set of trade agreements to meet evolving business needs.

Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran, who graced the event, said, “FTAs provide enhanced market access, certainty and confidence for our companies to venture overseas. Singapore was among the first to embark on an ambitious endeavour 20 years ago to pursue comprehensive and high standard FTAs with key trading partners around the world. Today, we continue to lead the way by negotiating new forms of FTAs such as digital economy agreements which will allow our companies to tap into new and emerging opportunities in the digital economy.”

Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore Png Cheong Boon said, “Singapore’s extensive FTA network provides Singapore companies with a competitive edge when accessing overseas opportunities in FTA partner countries. I am glad to see SBF taking the lead to organise this FTA symposium as well as launch its new FTA Education and Outreach Advisory to help our enterprises better understand and leverage on these FTAs. Enterprise Singapore will continue to work with SBF and other industry partners in this aspect and assist Singapore enterprises to expand into the global markets.”

Chairman of Singapore Business Federation S.S. Teo said, “It is critical for Singapore businesses, especially our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to leverage on our FTAs for business growth and expansion beyond the shores of Singapore. To help companies make the most of FTAs as a tool for their internationalisation plans, SBF is intensifying our outreach and education effort to increase awareness and help businesses to navigate these agreements. It is our hope that more Singapore companies will take the leap and expand into new markets.”

This event is part of a broader suite of initiatives that MTI, Enterprise Singapore and SBF have jointly embarked on to build awareness of Singapore’s network of FTAs and support Singapore companies in leveraging FTAs to go global.

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