Premier Li Keqiang signed a new-and-improved bilateral free trade pact with Singapore during his visit to the Southeast Asian state this week, shoring up economic ties with one of China’s key regional partners, Caixin reports.
The upgrade expands the terms of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA) signed in 2009, which was the first major bilateral trade agreement between China and another Asian country.
The revisions largely affect ease of doing trade by skimming down red tape on shipment origins and customs procedures, while assuring greater service trade and investment protection, said China’s Ministry of Commerce.
Under the new deal, the two countries will engage in deeper cooperation in areas such as courier services, legal services and construction, and will seek out collaboration opportunities in e-commerce and environmental projects.
Since the 2009 CSFTA signing, bilateral trade has grown steadily to reach Rmb 685.5 billion ($94.5 billion) in 2017. China is Singapore’s largest trade partner, according to official data.