European Parliament lead negotiator on the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore, Seán Kelly MEP, has welcomed the recent signature of the EU-Singapore trade deal.
He said that the EU-Singapore agreements which were signed in recent weeks will bring great opportunities to Ireland, particularly the agri-food sector.
He said it will "allow us to strengthen our political, trade, and investment relations with Singapore."
Singapore is the EU’s largest trading partner in the Southeast Asia bloc and this agreement will be very important in solidifying the business relationship between Ireland and Singapore, where total merchandise trade in 2016 was valued at €987 billion.
“Our countries share many similarities from small, open economies focused on exports to comparable economic strategies.
Singapore is home to about 2,050 to 3,000 Irish emigrants with over 10,400 EU companies operating on its territory, serving as a hub in the Pacific Rim.
“Hopefully, the trade agreement will enter into force in early 2019. There have been a number of unfortunate delays with this agreement, due mainly to a request from the Commission to the European Court of Justice for a legal clarification.”
“Having visited Singapore earlier this year on a fact-finding mission, and having seen the frustration on the Singapore side at these delays through my meetings with them, I am calling today for the swift ratification of this important and positive agreement as soon as possible”, Mr Kelly added.