Singapore and Turkey Talk Free Trade
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced that negotiations on a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement will commence with Turkey after speaking with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.
Erdogan is currently in Singapore on his first official visit, bringing with him 80 ministers and business leaders. The nation’s respective trade ministers have now been instructed to start negotiations which will include macro-economic development, multi-lateral cooperation and long-term financing.
Bilateral trade between the countries is not new but tax issues and entry barriers for Singaporean companies have been an issue.
According to International Enterprise Singapore, trade between the two countries hit S$1.46 billion in 2012, up 17 per cent from 2010. Under a free trade agreement this could reach US$5 billion.
Chanel NewsAsia says that Turkey is hoping to export more food, textiles and electronics, while Singapore is looking to wide-scale infrastructure projects and energy investments.
Both Singapore and Turkey are strategically located and viewed as gateways into their respective regions.
Turkey's Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci expects to have something organized by the end of 2014.