The European Union Delegation to Singapore is one of over 140 fully-fledged diplomatic missions representing the EU across the globe. Since its opening in 2004, the Delegation has worked to foster closer political and security, trade and investment relations as well as cultural ties between the EU and Singapore. By actively engaging with the government, businesses, academia, media and civil society, the Delegation promotes EU policies and values.
The EU-Singapore partnership is built on shared values and a joint commitment to work towards a rules-based multilateral order. In 2018, the EU and Singapore concluded a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) that is currently being ratified by the parliaments of EU Member States. When it enters into force, the Agreement will provide the basis for more effective bilateral engagement between the EU and Singapore by strengthening political dialogue and enhancing cooperation in a broad range of areas including sustainable and green development, democracy and fundamental freedoms, justice, security, connectivity, people-to-people links, as well as education and cultural exchanges. It will enable both sides to step up scientific and technological cooperation in fields such as energy, environment, fight against climate change, protection of natural resources, smart cities and transport. It will enhance cooperation on global challenges, where both Singapore and the EU play an increasingly important role and will help address them in a more coherent way.
Both the EU and Singapore contribute to the COVAX mechanism aimed at rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations on a global scale.
The EU’s commitment to the wider region is further underpinned by the decision of its Foreign Ministers to announce, as recently as 16 April 2021, an EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. This strategy recognises the growing importance of the region, with ASEAN at its centre, and gives new impetus to reinforcing collaboration with our partners in the Indo-Pacific, with the aim of contributing to the stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development of the region.
Singapore is a key partner of the EU in the Indo-Pacific. It lies squarely in the centre of this vast region and plays a vital role as a connectivity hub for business, travel and transport.
Singapore is the EU’s largest trade and investment partner in ASEAN. The two sides are strong partners and supporters of a multilateral rules-based global trading system.
Singapore was the first country in ASEAN with which the EU concluded a Free Trade Agreement. Trade in goods and services and investments remained robust in the first year of implementation despite the pandemic.
The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) and the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (EUSIPA), signed on 19 October 2018, are cornerstones of our trade and economic relationship. The EUSFTA eliminates nearly all customs duties and removes barriers to trade in goods, services and investment. It includes ambitious provisions in the fields of government procurement, intellectual property (including Geographical Indications), customs, rules of origin, renewable energies, green growth and sustainable development. Once in force, the EUSIPA will further encourage EU companies to invest more in Singapore, and Singaporean companies to invest more in the EU. The main highlights and the full text of the agreements can be found here.
In 2020, the annual EU-Singapore trade in goods reached €41 billion, placing Singapore as the EU’s 16th main trading partner in the world. The EU’s trade surplus with Singapore is currently valued at €7 billion.
In 2020, EU-Singapore trade in services reached €50.3 billion, with exports to Singapore amounting to €21.6 billion and imports from Singapore to €28.7 billion.
With regard to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Singapore ranks among the EU’s main FDI destinations in the region. At the end of 2020, EU FDI stocks in Singapore amounted to €256 billion. In the reverse direction, total FDI stocks held by Singapore in the EU reached €150 billion.
EU-Singapore Trade & Investment Agreements. Read more here.
EU-Singapore Trade and Investment Booklet Edition 2021. Read more here.
Singapore is an important trade, transport and financial services hub in Southeast Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. Around 10,000 EU companies use it for their business and commercial activities in the Asia-Pacific.
It was under Singapore’s stewardship in its role as the ASEAN coordinator for relations with the EU over 2018-2021 that on 2 June 2021 the EU and ASEAN concluded the world’s first bloc-to-bloc Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA), connecting our 37 countries. This is an important milestone to boost air connectivity once borders are re-opened.
Cultural & Public Diplomacy
Staying Connected Through Culture
Promoting people-to-people connectivity remains a priority for the EU in Singapore.
EUFF: The European Film Festival, popularly known as EUFF, is the EU’s flagship cultural event in Singapore. It brings Singaporean and European communities together and opens up an important space for inter-cultural dialogue through the compelling narrative of cinema. After a year’s hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the EUFF presented its landmark 30th edition in May 2021. At a time when travelling remains a challenge, EUFF offered a glimpse of Europe through 23 films showcasing the best of the continent through its cinema.
SEA AiR: In March 2021, the EU in collaboration with the Nanyang Technical University - Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore launched the Studio Residencies in the EU for Southeast Asian Artists (SEA AiR) project. This new initiative aims to create a peer-to-peer cultural and artistic exchange between Southeast Asia and Europe, with Singapore as its hub. Over 2021-2023, SEA AiR will bring six emerging Singaporean or Southeast Asian artists to the EU and promote a creative exchange enhancing the EU-Singapore-ASEAN dialogue through contemporary art.
Study In Europe: The 14th edition of the Study In Europe Fair took place during the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2020. Therefore, the popular higher education fair, our key public diplomacy initiative was repositioned and presented as a fully digital fair. The Study in Europe Fair in Singapore is key in deepening and strengthening people-to-people ties through higher education. The Fair connects undergraduate and post-graduate students in Singapore with European universities, providing information about higher education institutions, the application process, student life, details of various bond-free scholarships and highlights the many universities where courses are conducted in English. The first digital edition of Study in Europe in September 2020 hosted 151 universities from 20 European countries and saw an increased number of visitors as compared to previous physical fairs. The fair closed with 13,000 visitors and nearly 35,000 page views. In addition to curated digital content to promote education across Europe, 30 webinars were presented on 26 September 2020.
EU at Your School: Over 10,000 students aged 13 to 20 from 27 Singapore education institutions met with European Union (EU) ambassadors and senior diplomats in the second edition of the ‘EU at Your School’ project (#EUatYourSchool), where they got insights about the EU and its relations with Singapore.
Science & Technology
Researcher mobility and career development, support for scientific collaboration between Europe and ASEAN are facilitated by
EURAXESS ASEAN: Network of researchers of all disciplines and at all career levels in ASEAN. It is part of the multidisciplinary EURAXESS network that unites thousands of researchers from 40 European countries as well as China, India, Japan, Latin America and the Caribbean States, and North America in one global community.
Through its portal, EURAXESS provides information for free on job opportunities, fellowships and funding options available to researchers who wish to conduct research in or to collaborate with Europe, notably participate in the new EU Research Framework Programme for 2021-2027 (Horizon Europe).
Scientific cooperation between the EU and Singapore is also supported by the EU Centre. The EU Centre in Singapore is a project funded by the European Union, in partnership with the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Launched in June 2008, it promotes knowledge and understanding of the EU and its policies. Its outreach activities and publications help raise greater awareness about cooperation between the EU and Singapore as well as Southeast Asia.
Support to Small and Medium Enterprises
On 3 December 2020, the EU and Singapore signed an Administrative Arrangement on Cluster Cooperation to foster trade links and contribute to business partnerships, for clusters and their members, including regular exchanges and business matchmaking events.
The Enterprise Europe Network Singapore Centre (EEN Singapore) aims at promoting and assisting businesses, technology and research & development partnerships between Singaporean and European companies. It is a consortium formed by Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF), Enterprise Singapore and Intellectual Property Intermediary Singapore (IPI Singapore).
In 2021, a series of activities will take place under the communication campaign “More Than Food” in Singapore to promote trade in agri-food between the EU and Singapore.
As part of the EU Business Avenues in South-East Asia Programme that took place in between 2016 and December 2020, 20 business missions in seven key industry sectors were successfully organised to Singapore and other key ASEAN markets to showcase EU innovative technologies and bolster partnerships.
Human Rights and Democracy
The European Union regards human rights as universal and indivisible. It actively promotes and defends them both within its borders and when engaging with third countries. The EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024 sets out the European Union’s ambitions and priorities in this field in its cooperation globally. The Action Plan reaffirms the EU’s strong commitment to further advancing universal values for all. The European Union itself is founded on a strong engagement to promote and protect human rights, democracy and rule of law worldwide. Sustainable peace, development and prosperity cannot exist without respect for human rights. This commitment underpins all internal and external policies of the European Union. Within its borders, these principles are embedded in the EU founding treaties, reinforced by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights adopted in 2000, and strengthened still further when the Charter became legally binding with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.
The EU Delegation to Singapore marks every year Human Rights Day on 10 December with an annual human rights seminar.