Leaders from the EU and Singapore will today sign a free-trade agreement at a summit in Brussels. The agreement will eliminate almost all import duties between the EU and Singapore within five years and will facilitate exports of EU animal products.
Bord Bia has had an office in Singapore since 2016 in an effort to increase Irish exports to Singapore, which is a relatively small market for Irish agri-food.
In 2017, Ireland exported 7,433t of dairy produce with a value of €18m to Singapore. Exports of dairy products increased by 92% between 2016 and 2017.
On beef exports, Ireland exported approximately 624t valued at €1.6m, up from 290t valued at €0.8m in 2016. This was mainly in the form of frozen bovine offal.
The deal must go for ratification to both the European and Singaporean parliaments and it is hoped it will be in place by early 2019.
It is the first signed between the EU and a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and it is hoped a region-to-region deal can also be reached.
ASEAN is the EU's third-largest trading partner outside Europe, after the US and China.
Commenting on the agreement, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said: “Ireland has been firmly supportive of this free trade agreement and the economic benefits it will offer us.”
"Strong exports are essential to the continued growth of the Irish economy and the agreement will eliminate nearly all duties paid by Irish firms exporting to Singapore and will simplify customs procedures, helping to open up new market opportunities for our firms in one of the strongest economies in Asia.”