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Singapore first to ratify ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement
Kind: ICD What's New  Organization: Department of International Cooperation  Publish Date: 2021-04-21 16:30
Singapore ratified the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA) on April 5, becoming the first member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to do so.

ATISA, which was signed by ASEAN Economic Ministers on Oct. 7 last year, affirms ASEAN’s commitment to free and open trade and regional economic integration against the current multifaceted challenges of trade tensions, global pandemic and economic uncertainties.

Singapore’s rights and obligations under ATISA commenced after it notified the ASEAN Secretary-General of ratification the same day. Other member states are still in the process of completing their domestic procedures for ratification.

The accord deepens the integration of the services sectors and creates a more liberal, stable and predictable environment for service suppliers in the region. It builds upon all the achievements to date made by member states under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services as well as other related initiatives related to trade in services.

Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing noted the accord will help strengthen services-related trading arrangements among member states in all services sectors, including professional services, telecommunications, financial services, computer and related services, as well as distribution and logistics services.

Under the agreement, ASEAN-based businesses will enjoy increased market access and reduced regulatory barriers within the economic union. Singapore’s services sectors will be more open to other ASEAN economies, while over 70% of the services subsectors in the region will be fully open to Singaporean service suppliers.

ASEAN member states together represent Singapore’s third largest trade partner in services, with the volume of services trade between the two sides amounting US$ 20.3 last year, or 10.7% of Singapore’s total for the year.

Sources: ASEAN official website, Straits Times

Update: 2020-04-23
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