The European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) and EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (EUSIPA) were signed in October 2018 and approved by the European Parliament in February 2019. The EUSFTA entered into force on 21 November 2019 while the EUSIPA is undergoing ratification by the regional and national parliaments of the EU Member States and is expected to take at least two years.
Singapore and the EU are important trade and investment partners to each other. In 2018, bilateral trade in goods exceeded S$114 billion, and the EU was Singapore’s third largest goods trading partner while Singapore was the EU’s largest goods trading partner in ASEAN. The EU was the largest foreign investor in Singapore in 2017, accounting for foreign direct investment (FDI) stock of over S$376 billion. In the same year, Singapore’s Direct Investment Abroad (DIA) in the EU stood at approximately S$122 billion, making Singapore the EU’s 7th largest foreign investor and largest ASEAN investor.
With the EUSFTA, Singapore businesses can benefit from improved market access, including the elimination of customs duties, greater access to services sectors, and the reduction of technical and non-tariff barriers. They will also have more opportunities to participate in government procurement projects in the EU, and benefit from enhanced Intellectual Property Rights protection, amongst others.
The EUSFTA signals the EU's commitment to step up its engagement with Southeast Asia. It is a strategic pathfinder for the EU’s FTAs with other ASEAN Member States and an important building block towards a potential EU-ASEAN FTA. The EUSFTA will enhance region-to-region connectivity between the EU – the world’s largest single market, and ASEAN, which is projected to be the fourth largest economic bloc by 2030.
The Singapore-Germany Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTA) provides relief from double taxation in the situation where income is subject to tax for both countries.
The provisions of the DTA apply to persons who are residents of one or both of the Contracting States.
The Germany-Singapore Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is a legally-binding agreement between Germany and Singapore. It establishes rules on how Germany should treat investments and investors from Singapore and vice-versa. With the BIT, Singapore companies operating in Germany will enjoy protection on their investments, on top of the protection accorded under Germany’s domestic laws. Similarly, German companies operating in Singapore will also enjoy investment protection.
The BIT will grant investors from both countries the following key areas of protection: