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China-Singapore Free Trade Agreements

On October 23, 2008, Premier Wen Jiabao and Minister of Trade and Industry of Singapore, Linxun Qiang, signed the Agreement on Free Trade between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Singapore on behalf of their respective governments at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, with Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.

At the same time, the two sides also signed the “Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Singapore on bilateral labor services.”


FTA signed timetable

China – Singapore Free Trade Area negotiations started in August 2006, after eight rounds of hard and frank consultations, the two sides in September 2008 the successful conclusion of the negotiations.


FTA signed the scope

The Agreement covers a wide range of areas such as trade in goods, trade in services, movement of people, customs procedures and so on. It is a comprehensive free trade agreement.

On the basis of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the two sides have further accelerated the process of trade liberalization and expanded the depth and breadth of bilateral free trade relations and economic and trade cooperation.

The two sides are still medical, education, accounting and other services in the field of trade has made higher than the WTO commitments.


The FTA agreement maintains economic stability and trade liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region

The signing of the Agreement is a new milestone in the development of bilateral relations between China and Singapore. It will further promote the development of China-Singapore bilateral economic and trade relations and will have a positive impact on the East Asian economic integration process.
At the same time, the signing of the Agreement is conducive to maintaining the stability and growth of the economy and trade between the two countries, and to make positive contributions to maintaining world economic stability and promoting trade liberalization.


Tariff in the FTA

Under the Agreement, Singapore is committed to cancel all tariffs on imported products from China on 1 January 2009, China is committed to zero tariffs on 97.1% of imports from Singapore before January 1, 2010.


FTA Agreement content and rules

The “Free Trade Agreement between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Singapore” is based on the relevant rules of the WTO and, on the basis of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the two sides further open up the market and deepen the cooperation legal documents.

The Agreement is a comprehensive free trade agreement with 115 articles, namely, the initial terms, general definitions, trade in goods, rules of origin, customs procedures, trade remedies, technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures , Trade in services, movement of natural persons, investment, economic cooperation, dispute settlement, exceptions, general terms and final clauses.


The Agreement also contains seven annexes and two exchanges. The main contents are as follows:

  • Trade in goods
  • The two countries will accelerate the liberalization of trade in goods on the basis of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area Agreement on Trade in Goods.

    According to the Agreement, Singapore will cancel all tariffs on imported products from China on January 1, 2009; China will cancel 97.1% of the tariffs on imported products by January 1, 2010, of which 87.5% of the products Zero tariff is achieved from the date of entry into force of the Agreement.

  • Trade in services
  • In the area of ​​trade in services, the two sides further expand the market access scope on the basis of the WTO Service Trade Promise Form and the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area “Service Trade Agreement” Market Access Commitment List.

  • Singapore’s commitments include:
    1. Admitted to two Chinese university education;
    2. Allowing China to set up Chinese medicine in Singapore and Chinese medicine training institutions;
    3. allowed to develop Chinese higher education, Chinese adult education and Chinese training in Singapore;
    4. allowing China to run a wholly – owned hospital in Singapore;
    5. agreed and China to start the accounting audit guidelines as soon as possible.


  • China promises to include:
    1. commitment to Singapore in China to set up more than 70% of foreign-funded hospitals;
    2. recognized two universities in Singapore medical education.

  • Staff flow
  • In the entry of business personnel, the two sides in the “Agreement” in the establishment of a natural person moving chapter, clear the temporary entry of business personnel discipline and guidelines.

    And made a specific commitment to the time and conditions of residence, will further facilitate the exchange of personnel between the two countries, temporary entry for natural persons to establish a transparent standard and simplified procedures.

    The “Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation” signed at the same time as the “Agreement” will also have a positive effect on the management and maintenance of China’s labor service personnel in Singapore.

  • Rules of origin and customs procedures
  • The Agreement sets out preferential rules of origin for the use of 40% of the regional value content as the basic standard.

    The two sides will also strengthen cooperation between the two sides in terms of risk management, such as free trade area cooperation, simplify customs procedures and improve the customs clearance of goods and means of transport.

  • Health inspection and quarantine and technical barriers to trade
  • The agreement stipulates that the two sides will strengthen cooperation in the standardization and regionalization of health inspection and quarantine, conformity assessment procedures, and so on, and establish a cooperation mechanism so that the two sides can quickly and effectively solve the problems arising from bilateral trade.

    The agreement also stressed that the two sides will strengthen cooperation in trade and investment promotion, tourism cooperation, promote coordinated development of China’s regional economy, human resources development and Chinese enterprises “overseas investment”.