Singapore has signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pacific Alliance (PA), which is a trading bloc formed by four Latin American countries; Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, according to media reports. After three years of negotiations, the Pacific Alliance-Singapore free trade agreement (PASFTA) reached a substantial conclusion in December last year that consists of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.
Alvin Tan, minister of trade and State for trade and industry said that this agreement will let businesses from both countries have access to market opportunities and it will also help foster greater cooperation in sectors such as e-commerce, customs, trade facilitation, and maritime services.
In a webinar hosted by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Tan told the media, “I am pleased to share that our chief negotiators are preparing the agreement for signature by the end of this year. This FTA will send a powerful message to the global community that our countries remain open for business and that despite pressures placed on economic multilateralism, we want to reach out to one another and create opportunities for our people.”
Back in 2019, Singapore’s total trade in goods with the PA stood at $6.1 billion and it accounted for 33.2 percent of the country’s total merchandise trade with Latin America. In 2018, trades in services amounted to $2.6 billion and brought in 28.2 percent of Singapore’s total trade services in the region.
The latest FTA will make Singapore the first associate state of the alliance. The PA was formed back in 2012 and Singapore became an Observer State to the PA in 2014 and a Candidate Associate State in 2017.
Apart from the latest trade deal, Singapore already has existing agreements with three of the four PA countries – Chile, Mexico, and Peru, and they are also members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.