Free trade pact expands to include broking services

A free trade pact signed this week allows Australian financial services firm to provide advice in Singapore

Insurance News

By Mina Martin

Australian insurance brokers are now authorised to provide advice on maritime, aviation, and transport-related risks in Singapore following the formal signing of a free trade pact held this week, it has been reported. 

The new deal, signed by Malcolm Turnbull and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, expands a free trade pact agreed between Australia and Singapore in 2003 to include services exports in financial services, legal, and education industries, The Guardian reported.

The new pact contained e-commerce and telecommunications provisions similar to those of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which allows for cross-border data sharing and the transfer of electronically transmitted content without the imposition of customs duties, the report said.

Steve Ciobo, Australia’s trade minister, noted the significant potential for services exports “as Asia’s emerging middle class is projected to grow from 600 million today to 3 billion by 2030,” The Guardian reported.

“This is the most comprehensive update of an Australian free trade agreement and shows our FTAs are living agreements that can respond to evolving business needs,” Ciobo said.

“The amendments make it easier for Australian business visitors, including service suppliers and investors, to work in Singapore; providing greater opportunities for services exporters; and creating greater certainty and reducing red tape for exporters of goods, services, and investment.”

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