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Portugal supports ratification of EU-Singapore FTA

President Tony Tan, who is in Portugal on his first state visit, said he was given this assurance by his Portuguese counterpart Cavaco Silva.

LISBON: Portugal supports the ratification of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, said Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

President Tan, who is in Portugal on his first state visit, said he was given this assurance by his Portuguese counterpart Anibal Cavaco Silva.

He noted that Singapore's relationship with Portugal has grown stronger over the years, since the establishment of diplomatic relations 33 years ago.

On a two-day visit, President Tan began his first day in Portugal by laying a wreath at the tomb of Luís Vaz de Camoes, who is considered the country's greatest poet.

Shortly after, he was greeted with a welcome ceremony at the National Palace of Belem, where he met his counterpart President Cavaco Silva.

The two last met in 2012, when President Silva was in Singapore for his first state visit.

During their latest meeting, they discussed the strong and long-standing bilateral relations between the two nations.

Looking ahead, President Tan said the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which is pending ratification, will provide an improved framework to boost trade and investment between Singapore and Portugal.

President Tan said: "In the area of economic relations, the most notable investment from Singapore is by PSA, which has operated a container terminal in Sines since 2004.

"Another Singapore investment in Portugal is CWT Globelink Portugal, which operates consolidation services of cargoes originating from Asia and Europe into Portugal. In the hospitality sector, Singapore Banyan Tree group also operates a spa in the region of Algarve."

President Silva said Singapore is the most important commercial and trading partner for Portugal in Asia.

And the possibilities were expanded during President Tan's visit, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between PSA and the Ports of Sines and Algarve Authority.

With the pending conclusion of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the European region is looking increasingly attractive as a trade and investment destination for Singapore.

Besides benefits like tariff concessions on Singapore's exports, the agreement will make it easier for Singapore businesses to gain access to European markets.

Portugal's President Silva is hopeful that the two nations can also work together in other markets such as Brazil, Latin America and Africa. 

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