Altmaier said: “The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is an important signal for free and fair trade.” Click here for an overview of existing EU free trade agreements. EFTA  has bilateral agreements with the following countries – including dependent territories – and the following blocs: Singapore: the EU and Singapore signed a free trade agreement and an investment protection agreement at the ASEM summit on 18-19 October 2018. The European Parliament approved both agreements in February 2019. Germany is very pleased with these agreements, as Singapore is one of Germany`s main trading partners in the ASEAN region, despite its small size. The ratification of the free trade agreement was concluded on 8 November by Council decision and the agreement entered into force on 21 November 2019. The Investment Protection Agreement sets high and clear standards for investment protection, which preserve the state`s right to regulation, and establishes a reformed dispute resolution procedure, modelled on CETA. To learn more about these two agreements, visit the European Commission`s website. The EU has free trade agreements with countries around the world. Beyond the usual chapter of preferential tariff treatment, these agreements often contain trade facilitation and agreement clauses in areas such as investment, intellectual property, public procurement, technical standards, and health and plant health issues. Negotiations for a free trade agreement between the EU and several ASEAN countries (the association of Southeast Asian nations) are of economic importance to Germany. The ASEAN region is experiencing dynamic growth and there is great potential for economic cooperation with Europe.
The EU is currently negotiating with some ASEAN members, while initial negotiations with the whole region have not yielded concrete results. On 15 February 2017, the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). CETA removes most of the remaining tariffs and allows for better reciprocal access to markets for goods and services in the EU and Canada. Compliance with common rules and the creation of open market access in this way will help CETA parties ensure and increase their prosperity. CETA does not only create better opportunities for European producers of industrial products, agricultural products and services. It also reaffirms social and environmental standards and provides for a modern form of investment protection. CETA is a modern agreement that offers its parties a great opportunity to play an active role in globalization and to set fair and solid rules for this process. The high standards agreed between the EU and Canada will serve as a benchmark for future trade agreements. CETA has been applied on an interim basis since September 21, 2017.
However, this applies only to chapters for which the EU is solely responsible. As a result of the provisional entry into force of the agreement, EU businesses and citizens have been directly benefiting from CETA since 21 September 2017. Canada eliminates all tariffs on 98% of goods traded between the EU and Canada (with respect to customs positions). This will save EU businesses 590 million euros a year in tariffs. They also have the best access to Canadian federal, provincial and municipal public sector markets, which have ever been awarded to non-Canadian companies. CETA will not enter into full force until all Member States have ratified the agreement in accordance with their national constitutional procedures.