Singapore and MERCOSUR Sign the MERCOSUR-Singapore Free Trade Agreement

08 December 2023

1 Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Ministers from the four MERCOSUR Member States – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – signed the MERCOSUR-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (MCSFTA) today at the 63rd Summit of Heads of State of MERCOSUR and Associate States in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The signing was witnessed by the Heads of State of the MERCOSUR Member States. Also present at the Summit was Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry Alvin Tan. The signing follows the announcement by Singapore and MERCOSUR of the substantial conclusion of negotiations in July 2022.

2 The MCSFTA is the first trade deal between the MERCOSUR Member States and Singapore, and MERCOSUR’s first free trade agreement with a Southeast Asian country. The MCSFTA will deepen economic integration between Singapore and the four South American economies by facilitating greater trade flows through lowered tariff rates, establishing transparent and predictable investment conditions, and fostering cooperation in areas such as trade facilitation, entrepreneurship, digitalisation, sustainable development, security of food supply and SME development. 

3 The Parties will now work on their respective domestic ratification processes to bring the Agreement into force. 

4 Minister Balakrishnan said: “This signing comes after more than four years of intensive negotiations. The MCSFTA creates a new bridge between Southeast Asia and South America, bringing our regions closer together. We welcome more companies from MERCOSUR to establish a presence in Singapore and to access the larger Southeast Asian market.”  

5 Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said: “The MCSFTA is a strong reflection of our shared commitment to keeping our economies open and globally connected, and to bringing our regions, companies and peoples closer together. The MCSFTA strengthens Singapore’s growing trade-enabling architecture with Latin America, and it will bring tangible benefits to our companies by lowering business costs, easing tariff and regulatory barriers, and opening doors to new business opportunities, such as in e-commerce, agri-trade and government procurement.”

6 MERCOSUR is a Latin American bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Collectively, it represents the 8th largest economy in the world, with a combined GDP of US$2.7 trillion and a market of 272 million people. In 2022, merchandise trade between Singapore and MERCOSUR accounted for 45% (S$13.8 billion) of Singapore’s total trade with the 33 independent economies in the Latin American region, while trade in services in 2021 accounted for 40% (S$7.6 billion).

.     .     .     .     .


Annex A: Factsheet on the MCSFTA
Annex B: Infographic on the MCSFTA
Annex C: Company quotes on the MCSFTA

Annex A: Factsheet on the MCSFTA

1.       The MCSFTA is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that features 15 Chapters:

National Treatment and Market Access for Goods
Rules of Origin
Trade Remedies
Bilateral Safeguards
Customs Procedure and Trade Facilitation
Technical Barriers to Trade
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
Trade in Services
Movement of Natural Persons
Intellectual Property Rights
Government Procurement
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
Competition Policy

2.       Beyond facilitating market access for goods and establishing stability and predictability for investors, the MCSFTA will encourage greater transparency in, and simplification of, customs procedures, and cooperation between the Parties in areas of mutual interest, such as SME development, competition law enforcement, e-commerce, and cybersecurity. 

Singapore Companies in the MERCOSUR Markets

3.       There are currently more than 100[1] Singapore companies operating in the MERCOSUR markets, in sectors such as oil and gas, agri-business, digital solutions, manufacturing, hospitality, logistics and infrastructure. 

4.       Examples of Singapore companies doing business in MERCOSUR are Ascott, Changi Airports International, Grupo Kaybee, PSA International, SEA Group, Olam International, Wilmar International Limited and Sakura Tech. 

Annex B: MERCOSUR-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Infographic

Annex C: Company quotes on the MERCOSUR-Singapore Free Trade Agreement

Photo Caption: Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan signing the MERCOSUR-Singapore Free Trade Agreement in Rio de Janeiro, 7 December 2023

Photo Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

Photo Caption : Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan with [from left] Argentina President Alberto Fernández, Paraguay President Santiago Peña, Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and Uruguay President Luis Lacalle Pou, at the signing ceremony for the MERCOSUR-Singapore Free Trade Agreement in Rio de Janeiro, 7 December 2023

Photo Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

Photo Caption: Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan at the MERCOSUR Summit in Rio de Janeiro, 7 December 2023

Photo Credit: EBC

Travel Page