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Joint Statement By Singapore and the United States on the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, 26 October 2001

During the week of Oct 22-26, Singapore and the US conducted the fifth round of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

This fifth round, originally scheduled for Sep 21-25, was postponed due to the tragic events of Sep 11.

Both sides recognised that convening the fifth round as soon as possible was important to demonstrate their nations' determination to continue efforts to liberalise trade and investment between them.

During this fifth round, considerable progress was made on bridging differences in the services chapter. Both sides plan to exchange market access offers in the near future.

In addition, differences in the goods market access chapter were significantly reduced. Both sides plan to exchange market access offers in the near future.

Substantial progress also occurred on drafting the customs administration text and achieving a full understanding on the approach for rules of origin.

Progress was also achieved on the investment chapter.

On textiles and apparel, both sides reached an understanding on the importance of information and appropriate controls. Each side agreed to prepare specific sections of the texts on these issues within the next several weeks.

Negotiations on telecommunications and e-commerce will be held in London from Oct 31-Nov 1.

The two sides agreed to convene the sixth round in Jan 2002 in London. In the inter-sessional period, several of the negotiating groups will meet in London or by using audio-video facilities.

Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore