This means that companies from both countries are not treated less favourably than their own investors or investors from a third country in terms of operations, management or other aspects related to their investments. Finally, I would like to conclude with the following three proposals. There are two types of free trade agreements: bilateral (agreement between Singapore and a single trading partner) and regional (signed between Singapore and a group of trading partners). These agreements are part of the instruments for establishing the free trade area and are subject to the relevant disciplines for trade in goods in the main agreement. They provide for concessions on both sides. Each agreement contains specific rules of origin, which are usually based on the “fully obtained” origin criteria. Second, Singapore has pursued a proactive policy of negotiating bilateral and regional free trade agreements with other economies. The aim is to expand Singapore`s economic zone and offer our exporters preferential treatment, including duty-free access, to overseas markets, including those of the United States, China, Japan, the European Union, India, etc. On 19 October 2018, three agreements were signed between the parties, the EU-Singapore Trade Agreement, the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement and the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation.   The agreement was subsequently approved by the European Parliament on 13 February 2019.  On November 8, 2019, it was announced that the agreement would enter into force on November 21, 2019. This will happen after the Council of the European Union approves the agreement.  Losses for Singapore? Has Singapore made concessions to the United States that it would not have made without the free trade agreement? Each party to the negotiations must be prepared to make concessions to the other party or parties.
By the end of the negotiations, however, each side must have won more than lost. This is possible because free trade improves efficiency and free trade agreements are win-win agreements. Otherwise, there would be no agreement. Is there a difference between them? In theory, comprehensive economic partnership or cooperation agreements should be broader in scope than free trade agreements. In practice, there is no difference between them. The two terms are used interchangeably. Free trade and the WTO It is well known that Singapore`s foreign trade is three times larger than its economy. Trade is therefore our elixir of life. The rise of Singapore and other East and Southeast Asian countries is largely due to free and open trade and the international division of labor.