Singapore and Turkey will soon begin the negotiations on a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), the city-state's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and visiting Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan jointly announced on Thursday.
Erdogan is in Singapore for a two-day visit from Wednesday to Thursday. It's his first official visit here and his visit " highlights the rapidly developing bilateral relationship between Singapore and Turkey," Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
Lee said instructions have been given to the economic and trade ministers of the two countries to start negotiations on the FTA, local media Channel NewAsia reported.
Besides the FTA negotiations, the two leaders also agreed to engage further cooperation in economic, finance and counter- terrorism.
Both leaders also agreed to start a regular dialogue between finance ministries to engage on issues such as macroeconomic development, multi-lateral cooperation and long-term financing.
The two countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost counter-terrorism cooperation.
According to the Singapore foreign ministry, Erdogan is accompanied by an 80-strong delegation comprising ministers and businessmen.
Singapore's official data showed that the city-state's trade with Turkey has remained above 1 billion Singapore dollars (787.4 million U.S.dollars) since 2007. In 2012, the bilateral trade was 1.46 billion Singapore dollars (1.15 billion U.S.dollars).