Ambassador Lim emphasised that Singapore and the EU are very important trade and investment partners. Their economies are deeply intertwined, anchored by significant mutual trade, investment and people-to-people relationships. The EUSFTA has been a tremendous success. It is a progressive and a high-standards agreement that has brought many tangible benefits to companies. Trade and sustainability are also subject to strict rules, including protection of labour rights and the environment.
Ms Cornelis described the general business environment in which European companies currently operate in Singapore. After the pandemic, companies still have to endure economic uncertainty, but cautious optimism is also clearly visible. Bilateral trade between the EU and Singapore remained very strong even during the pandemic. The good news has been recently that Singapore has given very clear signs of its willingness to open up to foreign companies and foreign talent.
Both speakers also reflected on the plans for a digital partnership between the EU and Singapore and discussed this topic with EU DAG members.