Syed Kamall, leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs, today said the conclusion of the European Union's free-trade agreement with Singapore would mean a host of potential business openings for British and European enterprises.
Dr Kamall, MEP for London, commented "The opportunities involved are simply huge. As well as providing a major boost for professional and financial services companies in London and the rest of the UK, this highlights the importance in coming years of opening up trading relationships with key Far East partners and emerging markets."
The bulk of the agreement was finalised last year, but today the EU Commission indicated that the remaining chapter on investment had been concluded, completing a document which stands at more than 1,000 pages. Now begins the mammoth task of translation into the languages of all member states and detailed checks by lawyers to ensure the consistency of the text.
Dr Kamall has been a member of the parliament's negotiating team on the agreement for more than two years. He said: "This has been a long and painstaking process – but the benefits will be truly significant. Today's announcement is the final piece is a very complicated jigsaw. Significantly, it will allow EU companies to invest in Singapore enterprises and will afford protection to individual investors.
"In today's tough global economic climate, Singapore stands out as a truly vibrant trading region – a go-ahead commercial hub that is full of opportunity. Trade with Singapore can open up new commercial opportunities for British and European companies across south-east Asia."