Exchange of Diplomatic Notes for the Entry into Force of the Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement (JSEPA)

1. An exchange of diplomatic notes for the entry into force of the Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement (Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Singapore for a New-Age Economic Partnership: JSEPA) took place on Thursday, 31 October 2002 in Singapore, between Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Singapore Kunihiko Makita and Minister for Foreign Affairs S. Jayakumar of Singapore. With this exchange of diplomatic notes, the JSEPA will enter into force on 30 November 2002.

2. The JSEPA is the first free trade agreement concluded by Japan designed to liberalize the trade in goods and services. The agreement also stipulates the promotion of bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas, including financial services, information and communications technology (ICT), human resources development, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and tourism, in order to further strengthen economic relations between Japan and Singapore.

3. With the entry into force of the JSEPA, bilateral economic partnership between Japan and Singapore will be strengthened, and it is expected that this will further vitalize the economies of both countries. In addition, the agreement will form a foundation as well as a reference in pursuing economic partnership with other countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the future. The entry into force of the JSEPA is expected to provide momentum towards the realization of an Initiative for Japan-ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

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