According to an opinion of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, the initial AEE was a so-called joint agreement. The opinion was requested by the European Commission, which asked whether the EU institutions were the only ones entitled to conclude the agreement without the Member States being contracting parties.  The Court`s opinion led the European Commission to divide the agreement into a free trade agreement and an investment protection agreement. The EU and Singapore have also concluded an investment protection agreement, which can enter into force after being ratified by all EU member states according to their own national procedures. As a result, in the context of investor-state dispute settlement, it is likely that the court`s opinion will impose any agreement, including the protection of non-direct foreign investment or investor-state dispute settlement (EIDS), on a `mixed agreement` requiring each Member State and the EU itself to become a contracting party, unless certain aspects that are usually found in these agreements are removed or Member States agree in another way (further). Investment protection disciplines are consistent with those typically found in bilateral investment protection agreements, including provisions on promotion and protection, national salaries and MFN, taxation, expropriation and compensation, national regulation, transfers and key personnel. The agreement also provides for the possibility of a direct settlement of disputes between one party and an investor of another. These disputes may be subject to binding arbitration proceedings, provided both parties agree. Reservations about the chapter are contained in Appendix XI. As part of the trade agreement, Singapore will remove all remaining tariffs on EU products.
The agreement also offers new opportunities for EU service providers, particularly in areas such as telecommunications, environmental services, engineering, IT and shipping. It will also make the business environment more predictable. The agreement will also provide legal protection for 138 iconic European food and beverage products known as geographical indications. Singapore is already the third destination for this kind of European specialties. Singapore has also expressed its readiness to remove trade barriers in addition to tariffs in key sectors, such as recognising EU safety tests for cars and many electronic devices or accepting labels used by EU textile companies. The parties agree to apply their health and plant health rules in a non-discriminatory manner and not to introduce new measures that cause excessive trade obstruction. In addition, trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agreements on basic agricultural products negotiated between the state of EFTA concerned (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein) and Singapore. Discover the current trade relationship between the EU and Singapore They have encouraged businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to continue to enjoy the benefits of the agreement. According to the declaration, the region`s beer exports to Singapore have increased by 20% since the start of the free trade agreement. EU Ambassador to Singapore Barbara Plinkert said the increase in EU imports from Singapore “clearly demonstrates the benefits of EESCE in reducing and eliminating Singapore`s exports to the EU, despite the difficult conditions of international trade and supply chains since the onset of the current pandemic.”