Estonian parliament adopts EU-Singapore investment protection accord

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The Estonian parliament on Thursday adopted the free trade and investment protection agreement between the European Union and Singapore aiming to improve the investment climate between the EU and Singapore.

The agreement will ensure high-level investment protection in Singapore, while leaving parties to the agreement the right to regulate the field and impose legal norms, Riigikogu spokespeople said.

Under the agreement a two-tier investment adjudication system would be created, aimed at ensuring better legal protection for investors and enabling to handle their disputes faster and in a transparent manner. The agreement will also ensure the protection of Singaporean investors in Europe.

The Estonian government endorsed the draft of the agreement on Oct. 4 last year. Estonia signed the agreement in Luxembourg on Oct. 15 last year. The EU and Singapore signed the agreement during an Asia-Europe summit in Brussels on Oct. 19 last year. The agreement will step into effect after all the states parties have ratified it accordance with national procedures.

According to the Bank of Estonia, direct investment from Singapore totaled 136.2 million euros in Estonia as of June 30, 2019. This makes up 0.6 percent of direct investment in Estonia. Investments have mostly been made in the processing industry, which makes up 83 percent of the investment.

Estonia’s direct investment in Singapore totaled 2.5 million euros. Investments have been made in the processing industry, retail and wholesale, information and communications, finance and insurance, real estate, and the professional, research and technical field.

In 2018, Estonia’s export to Singapore amounted to 47 million euros and Estonia’s import from Singapore 5 million euros. Over 10,000 EU companies have been founded in Singapore that service the entire Pacific Ocean region from there. In 2016, the volume of mutual investment amounted to 256 billion euros.

Altogether 80 MPs voted in favor of the adoption of the agreement.

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