Singapore-GCC trade agreement in effect

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GCC tradeA new trade pact, the Gulf Cooperation Council-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (GSFTA) came into effect on September 1, 2013.

The GSFTA is a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) covering trade in goods, trade in services, investments, rules of origin, customs procedures, government procurement, electronic commerce and economic cooperation. Singapore is the first non-Middle East country to have an FTA with the GCC. The FTA is Singapore’s second with the Middle East, after the Singapore-Jordan FTA in effect since 2004.

For the first time, the GCC countries have committed to recognise the Singapore MUIS Halal Standardsas similar to and consistent with their domestic Halal Standards. The UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman have already committed to recognise SMHS and the remaining 2 (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) will start negotiations shortly. It is expected that this will open up more opportunities in Singapore’s export of halal products to the GCC states.

Based on Singapore’s latest bilateral trade figures in 2012, $2.6 billion worth of Singapore goods will qualify for immediate tariff-free treatment. Major sectors that will benefit from the elimination of tariffs are telecommunications, electrical and electronic equipment, petrochemicals, jewellery, machinery and iron and steel-related industries.

Singapore, in turn, will grant zero-tariff treatment to all GCC imports with immediate effect.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

A new trade pact, the Gulf Cooperation Council-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (GSFTA) came into effect on September 1, 2013.

Reading Time: 1 minute

GCC tradeA new trade pact, the Gulf Cooperation Council-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (GSFTA) came into effect on September 1, 2013.

The GSFTA is a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) covering trade in goods, trade in services, investments, rules of origin, customs procedures, government procurement, electronic commerce and economic cooperation. Singapore is the first non-Middle East country to have an FTA with the GCC. The FTA is Singapore’s second with the Middle East, after the Singapore-Jordan FTA in effect since 2004.

For the first time, the GCC countries have committed to recognise the Singapore MUIS Halal Standardsas similar to and consistent with their domestic Halal Standards. The UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman have already committed to recognise SMHS and the remaining 2 (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) will start negotiations shortly. It is expected that this will open up more opportunities in Singapore’s export of halal products to the GCC states.

Based on Singapore’s latest bilateral trade figures in 2012, $2.6 billion worth of Singapore goods will qualify for immediate tariff-free treatment. Major sectors that will benefit from the elimination of tariffs are telecommunications, electrical and electronic equipment, petrochemicals, jewellery, machinery and iron and steel-related industries.

Singapore, in turn, will grant zero-tariff treatment to all GCC imports with immediate effect.

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