SINGAPORE: Singapore and China will conclude a substantive upgrade of their free trade agreement, which first came into effect in 2009, by the end of this year, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Thursday (Sep 20).Several rounds of negotiations over the upgrade have taken place since the two countries agreed to a review of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA) during President Xi Jinping’s State Visit to Singapore in November 2015.The upgraded CSFTA is expected to, among other things, provide Singapore businesses with enhanced trade facilitation and greater investment protection in China.“We will conclude the CSFTA by the end of this year, and we hope to sign it when Premier Li Keqiang comes to visit Singapore (in November),” said Mr Teo on the sidelines of the 14th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting on Thursday.The JCBC is the top-level forum for steering bilateral relations between Singapore and China, and it has been held almost every year since it was established in 2004, with both countries taking turns to host the event.“SUCCESSFUL AND PRODUCTIVE JCBC”Playing host this year, Mr Teo, who is Singapore’s JCBC co-chair, welcomed his new counterpart, Vice Premier Han Zheng. Mr Han assumed the post in April,… Read full this story
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