On October 19, Singapore signed the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) and the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (EUSIPA). The EUSFTA is a long-awaited trade deal with the 28-member European Union, and the first of its kind between the EU and a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The progressive deals act as a gateway to each of the region’s ever-expanding markets, and are aimed at region-to-region cooperation and enhanced business. These agreements were signed in an effort to counter rising global trade protectionism, and could potentially serve as the foundation for an EU-ASEAN free trade agreement.

The two deals were signed by Singapore and EU officials on the side-lines of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Brussels, Belgium.