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United States and Singapore Welcome Increased Trade and Investment from Free Trade Agreement



Washington D.C. --
U.S. and Singaporean
officials met in Singapore today and welcomed the
continued increase in trade and investment since the Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
between the two countries entered into force on January 1, 2004.  Two-way
trade has surged 34 percent since the FTA came into force and
Singapore is now the
States’ ninth largest export market, moving up
from eleventh place in 2003. 

Officials from the United
States and Singapore, who met for the third
annual review of the FTA, also noted the continued strong growth in
investment flows since the FTA entered into force.  The FTA has further
enhanced Singapore's
attractiveness as an investment destination, and it is now the third largest
recipient of U.S. foreign
direct investment in the Asia-Pacific, after Australia and Japan. The FTA
also has helped to add momentum to Singapore’s initiatives to develop as
a regional and global hub for medical technology, financial services, and
transport and shipping.

“Our FTA with Singapore has deepened and strengthened our trade
and investment ties with one of the world’s most vibrant economies,” said
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Barbara Weisel, who led the
U.S. delegation. “We look forward to
continuing to enhance our partnership, which has already delivered benefits
for the people of both of our countries.”

Deputy Secretary of Trade Loh Wai Keong led the
Singapore delegation.  Both
government’s officials expressed satisfaction with the ongoing implementation of
the FTA and its significant benefits to both countries.  The continuing
benefits of the FTA send a strong signal to the world about how free trade and a
level playing field for businesses generates economic opportunities and spurs

The two sides held constructive discussions on a wide
range of issues, including intellectual property, telecommunications, regulatory
issues that affect trade between the two countries and possible future
cooperation on environmental issues, which is a priority for both
countries.  In addition, the United
States and Singapore exchanged ideas on how to
continue in their joint efforts to promote trade and intra-regional integration
among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations

The United
States and Singapore share a strong partnership
on a range of economic issues, including efforts to conclude the WTO Doha
negotiations.  Singapore
also remains a strong proponent of active U.S. engagement in East
Asia.  It has been strongly supportive of the U.S.-Korea FTA
and of the vision of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific [(FTAAP)].  In
addition, with Singapore’s
support, the United
States concluded a Trade and Investment
Framework Agreement with ASEAN countries last August. 


Singapore is the United States’
15th largest trading partner.  U.S. goods exports in 2006 totaled
$24.7 billion, up 19.6 percent from the previous year.  Major U.S. imports
from Singapore were $17.8 billion, up 17.7
percent from 2005.  The major U.S. exports to Singapore
included machinery; electrical machinery; aircraft and parts; and
optical/medical instruments.  U.S. foreign direct investment in
Singapore totaled more than $48
billion in 2005 (the latest available data) and is concentrated largely in the
manufacturing, wholesale trade, information and professional scientific and
technical services sectors.