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Singapore And EU To Start FTA Talks

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, and Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang, have officially launched the first round of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Singapore.

It was said that the EU-Singapore FTA (EUSFTA) marks a milestone in the EU's longstanding relations with Singapore. De Gucht was of the opinion that "the proposed free-trade agreement will strengthen economic ties between Singapore and the EU, provide new opportunities for traders and consumers alike, and contribute to generating growth in our economies."

Lim Hng Kiang added: "The EU is an important economic partner of Singapore. This FTA is a major undertaking and when concluded, will further strengthen the excellent economic relations between Singapore and the EU. Singapore looks forward to working closely with the EU to develop an ambitious agreement that will benefit businesses from both sides."

The first round of negotiations is scheduled to take place from March 8-12, 2010, in Singapore. At the end of their meeting, Lim Hng Kiang and Karel De Gucht expressed the commitment of both Singapore and the EU to work towards an expeditious conclusion of a high-quality FTA.

Singapore and the EU enjoy close economic ties that, it is hoped, will be boosted further by the EUSFTA. The EU is Singapore’s largest trading partner and foreign investor.

Bilateral trade exceeded EUR55bn (USD39bn) in 2008. Conversely, Singapore is the EU's most important trading partner in the Asian region and, particularly, its largest trading partner among the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that, overall, have an annual bilateral trade in goods and services of some EUR175bn with the EU.

Both sides also enjoy robust bilateral investment ties. Over the years, Singapore and the EU have invested over EUR100bn in each other’s economies. Already, it was added, EU companies in many sectors have chosen Singapore as a hub from which to serve the Pacific Rim region.

EU had pursued talks on a region-to-region FTA with ASEAN from 2007 until their pause in March 2009. Later last year, the EU member states gave the green light to pursue negotiations towards FTAs with the individual countries within ASEAN.

While opening FTA negotiations with Singapore, De Gucht disclosed that the EU’s ultimate goal is still to achieve an agreement within a regional framework; the bilateral agreements with single ASEAN countries becoming building blocks towards that objective.

“Although Singapore is the 'first one in,' our door remains open for other ASEAN countries interested in negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement with us,” he stated. While previously in Hanoi, he had been able to announce that Vietnam and the EU would also start negotiations on a bilateral agreement.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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