European shipowners welcomed the free trade agreement between the EU and Singapore, which was signed during last week’s Asia-Europe summit.
“European shipowners welcome the fact that the EU and Singapore show their commitment to free, fair and rules-based trade at a time that protectionism is on the rise,” Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General, said.
“Shipping needs global trade to exist and global trade cannot exist without an efficient shipping industry. Southeast Asia is a key partner for European shipping companies with Singapore being the EU’s largest ASEAN partner, accounting for almost one third of EU-ASEAN trade in goods and services,” Dorsman added.
The EU-Singapore FTA text contains the liberalisation principles of international maritime transport services. The contracts signed are the first bilateral trade and investment deals concluded between the EU and a member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Last week marked another important step in the EU-ASEAN trade cooperation as the European Commission adopted the EU-Vietnam trade and investment deals and presented them to the Council for its approval.
ECSA said that the shipowners are looking forward to the quick ratification of the EU-Singapore agreement by the European Parliament so it can enter into force before the end of the current mandate of the European Commission in 2019. The shipowners also called upon the Council to swiftly approve the EU-Vietnam agreement.