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Singapore and New Zealand have upgraded the ANZSCEP (Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership). The Protocol to Amend the ANZSCEP was signed by Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran and New Zealands Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Hon Damien OConnor today. Both Ministers also signed the Mutual Recognition Agreement on Conformity Assessment. The signings were witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The upgraded ANZSCEP builds upon the original Agreement by improving the trade rules to bring it in line with newer Free Trade Agreements to which Singapore and New Zealand are parties. It will incorporate some of the most flexible and trade facilitative rules of origin among Singapores free trade agreements and the shortest release times for goods and expedited shipments. It also includes two new chapters on E-Commerce and Regulatory Cooperation.
Mr Iswaran said, Singapore and New Zealand are close and like-minded partners that uphold an open and rules-based trading system. The upgraded ANZSCEP will facilitate greater trade flows between both countries by reducing barriers to trade and addressing modern trade issues like e-commerce and regulatory cooperation. I look forward to seeing our economic relations grow even stronger.
The ANZSCEP, which entered into force on 1 January 2001, was Singapores first and New Zealands second bilateral FTA. Negotiations for the upgraded ANZSCEP were launched in June 2017 under the trade and economics pillar of the Singapore-New Zealand Enhanced Partnership, and were concluded on 17 August 2018.
Singapore and New Zealand share strong trade and investment ties. In 2018, bilateral trade registered a 12.1% year-on-year increase to S$4.1 billion. Singapore was New Zealands 6th largest investor with a stock of approximately S$3.9 billion worth of investments as of end-2017.