GCC-Singapore FTA comes into effect

gccThe Gulf Cooperation Council-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (GSFTA) came into effect on Sunday, 1 September.

The agreement will further enhance Singapore’s growing economic relations and trade with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), says Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

The GCC consists of six countries in the Middle East – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The GSFTA is a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) covering trade in goods, trade in services, investments, rules of origin, customs procedures, government procurement, electronic commerce and economic cooperation.

MTI says Singapore is the first non-Middle East country to have an FTA with the GCC.

The FTA is Singapore’s second with the Middle East, after the Singapore-Jordan FTA in 2004.

For the first time, the GCC countries have committed to recognise the Singapore MUIS Halal Standards (SMHS) as similar to and consistent with their domestic Halal Standards.

Four out of the six GCC countries have already committed to recognise SMHS and the remaining two (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) will start negotiations shortly to do the same.

This will open up more opportunities in Singapore’s export of Halal products to the GCC states.

MTI adds that based on Singapore’s latest bilateral trade figures in 2012, S$3.98 billion worth of Singapore goods will qualify for immediate tariff-free treatment, while S$49.1 million worth of Singapore goods will qualify after 2018.

Major sectors that will benefit from the elimination of tariffs are telecommunications, electrical and electronic equipment, petrochemicals, jewellery, machinery and iron and steel-related industries.

Singapore will grant zero-tariff treatment to all GCC imports with immediate effect.
 

Source : Channel News Asia | September 1, 2013

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Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. http://www.NovaAdvisors.com thomas@NovaAdvisors.com USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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