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Date: 16/12/2008

GCC signs first free trade agreement with Singapore

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has signed a first ever-free trade agreement (FTA) with Singapore. The agreement was signed between Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, Singapore and his GCC counterparts, Shaikh Hamad bin Jasem Al Thani, President-in-Office of the GCC Ministerial Council & Prime Minister, Qatar and Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Secretary-General, GCC in Doha.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Singapore FTA (GSFTA) is a comprehensive free trade agreement covering areas including trade in goods, trade in services, investments, rules of origin, customs procedures, government procurement, electronic commerce, and economic cooperation. The agreement will grant tariff-free access for about 99% of Singapore's domestic exports. All GCC goods entering into Singapore will also be granted tariff-free access.

The GSFTA allows Singapore-based companies and Singapore Permanent Residents to hold majority stakes in key sectors of the GCC markets. In particular, Singapore gained enhanced access in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar for construction services, computer services, environmental services and professional services.