Liz Truss said Britain was re-rising as a big trade force as she signed a totally free trade deal with Singapore on Thursday, the UK’s newest arrangement ahead of the departure from the European Union on Dec. 31.

The deal signed by the Trade Secretary and her Singaporean counterpart will come as Boris Johnson and EU main Ursula von der Leyen tried using to seal a new trade pact and avert what some fear will be a chaotic conclude to the 5-year Brexit approach.

The arrangement caught in Singapore largely mirrors a standing arrangement the state has with the EU.

“Fifty 5 several years right after Singapore’s independence, the Uk is re-rising as a totally unbiased nation, and a big force in global trade,” Ms Truss said ahead of the signing.

“Jointly, we are paving the way for a brighter long term, rich in financial potential and option.”

Singapore, a rich town-state of five.7m people today, counts Britain as its third-largest buying and selling spouse for products and next largest for services, and its prime expense spot in Europe.

Full bilateral trade between the two nations around the world was valued at $thirteen.5bn in 2019, in accordance to Singapore’s formal figures.

The deal removes tariffs, gives both nations around the world accessibility to each and every other’s markets in services and cuts non-tariff boundaries in electronics, cars and car sections, pharmaceutical merchandise, health-related devices and renewable electrical power generation, the ministry claimed.

Duties will be eradicated by November 2024, the exact same timeline as the pact between the EU and Singapore.

The arrangement “presents British enterprises a system to accessibility alternatives in the region by way of Singapore”, Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing claimed as he signed the deal with Ms Truss.

“Past the sizeable benefits to our respective enterprises, the (deal) is a solid statement towards protectionism and nativism,” Mr Chan claimed, adding it will be “crucial in ensuring a solid and resilient write-up-pandemic recovery for the environment”.

Britain signed its 1st big write-up-Brexit trade deal with Japan in Oct, but Thursday’s arrangement is its 1st with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The 10-place bloc is property to 650m people and – prior to the pandemic-induced downturn – had loved rapid financial growth in current several years.

Britain formally left the European Union at the conclude of January and has used the year negotiating its long term relationship with Brussels and putting trade agreements with big economies these as Japan and Canada.

Mr Johnson and  Mrs Von der Leyen have given by themselves until finally the conclude of the weekend to seal a new trade pact right after failing to defeat persistent rifts.

Failure to concur new procedures to govern everything from trade to electrical power ties would snarl borders, shock economic markets and sow chaos by way of supply chains in a environment presently grappling with the financial charge of Covid-19.