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Singapore signs Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand 14th Nov 2000

The Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP) is Singapore’s first bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) signed with an individual country. Concluded on 14 November 2000, the FTA was signed by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and then New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark in Singapore.[1] The ANZSCEP was concluded after six rounds of negotiations that had lasted over a year. Negotiations had begun on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit held in Auckland in September 1999. A preliminary agreement was reached by both countries on 18 August 2000.[2]

The ANZSCEP aimed to eliminate tariffs on goods traded between both countries as well as liberalise trade in a wide variety of services such as engineering services, dental services, computer services, info-communication technology (ICT) services, financial services, manufacturing services and environmental services.[3] The ANZSCEP also sought to establish a single New Zealand-Singapore government procurement market so that competitive and cost-saving opportunities for suppliers in both countries could be maximised.[4] As part of the FTA, New Zealand and Singapore also entered into a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on electrical and electronic equipment in a move to reduce compliance and time-to-market costs. Under the MRA, all electrical and electronic equipment tested in New Zealand or Singapore would not be subjected to a second round of testing when exported to a third party.[5]

The ANZSCEP had a positive impact on the bilateral trade between Singapore and New Zealand. Three months after the FTA was implemented on 1 January 2001, trade between the two countries increased by 35 percent year-on-year in January and February.[6] The increase was led by Singapore’s exports to New Zealand, which rose 54 percent in January and February to S$70.7 million from S$45.8 million in the same period the year before. New Zealand’s exports to Singapore, on the other hand, increased 46 percent to S$56.3 million.

1. Aggarwal, N. (2000, November 15). S'pore signs its first FTA with KiwisThe Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Leong, C. T. (2000, August 19). S'pore, NZ agree on free-trade pact. (2000, August 19). The Straits Times, p. 1; Ngoo, I. (1999, September 12). S'pore and NZ agree on free-trade pactThe Straits Times, p. 10; Wong, D. (2000, August 24). S'pore and NZ ink free trade pactThe Straits Times, p. 63. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. International Enterprise Singapore. (2012, April 26). Overview of New Zealand (ANZSCEP). Retrieved March 21, 2014, from IE Singapore website: http://www.fta.gov.sg/fta_anzscep.asp?hl=9
4. Overview of New Zealand (ANZSCEP), 26 Apr 2012.
5. Overview of New Zealand (ANZSCEP), 26 Apr 2012.
6. Low, I. (2001, April 16). S'pore-NZ free trade pact pays offThe Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG .
7. The Straits Times, 16 Apr 2001, p. 10, S'pore-NZ bilateral trade grows ‘solid’ 35% after FTA. (2001, April 16). The Business Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.


The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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