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Bilateral “WTO-Plus” Free Trade Agreements: The WTO Trade Policy Review of Singapore 2004

Author

Listed:
  • S.M. Thangavelu

    (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

  • Toh Mun Heng

    (Department of Business Policy, National University of Singapore)

Abstract

The World Trade Organisation’s 2004 Trade Policy Review of Singapore (WTO-TPR Singapore 2004) depicts the small and outward-oriented economy as one of the most open country to international trade and investment. The review highlights the benefits of the outward-oriented strategy that has enabled the Singapore economy to weather recent external shocks such as the Asian financial crisis to the SARS and to the recent unfavourable conditions in the Middle East. In particular, the report commended Singapore’s efforts on its liberalization of the services sector and its economic benefits to consumers and global trade. However, the WTO-TPR Singapore 2004 highlights several key areas of concerns: (a) the commitment to multilateral agreements with the rising number of bilateral free trade agreements signed by Singapore and (b) the lack of growth of total factor productivity, a key indicator for long-run efficiency of the economy. The paper addresses the above key concerns raised in the WTO’s TPR of Singapore in terms of its commitment to global trade in terms of WTO-plus bilateral FTAs, which intends to support multilateral trading system, and its overall industrial strategies to raise its competitiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • S.M. Thangavelu & Toh Mun Heng, 2005. "Bilateral “WTO-Plus” Free Trade Agreements: The WTO Trade Policy Review of Singapore 2004," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 0505, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
  • Handle: RePEc:sca:scaewp:0505
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    File URL: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/ecs/pub/wp-scape/0505.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lee, Hiro, 2001. "General equilibrium evaluation of Japan-Singapore free trade agreement," MPRA Paper 82605, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Linda Low, 2003. "Multilateralism, Regionalism, Bilateral and Crossregional Free Trade Arrangements: All Paved with Good Intentions for ASEAN?," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 65-86, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roy, Martin & Marchetti, Juan & Lim, Hoe, 2006. "Services liberalization in the new generation of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs): How much further than the GATS?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2006-07, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    2. Shandre M. Thangavelu & Yik Wei Yong & Aekapol Chongvilaivan, 2009. "FDI, Growth and the Asian Financial Crisis: The Experience of Selected Asian Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(10), pages 1461-1477, October.

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