When done meaningfully, open market arrangements could deliver triple-win dividends for creating greener and better jobs, protecting natural resources, and making international supply chains more inclusive for small businesses. Underlining these principles, the European Union’s recently concluded bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) not only leave much room for closer transnational economic relations, but also for a more ambitious and responsible business environment that rightly advances sustainable development.

Our European Trade Mission to Southeast Asia 2019 on 9–13 September will leverage the sustainability provisions in the EU’s new-generation FTAs to explore, develop, and capture internationalisation opportunities for EU enterprises in Singapore and Vietnam.


As two of the EU’s strongest trade and investment partners in Asia, Singapore and Vietnam are economic powerhouses in their own right. A small city-state with a mammoth GDP of EUR 283,8 billion in 2017, Singapore has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s most open, transparent, competitive, and business-friendly economies. A rapidly expanding economy with a GDP of EUR 196,2 billion last year, Vietnam continues to develop through sustained structural reforms and inclusive growth, driven by strong manufacturing output, productive agriculture and fisheries sectors, robust household demand, and record-breaking tourist receipts.

In 2017, EU exports to Singapore in goods and services reached EUR 55,4 billion, while EU investment stocks in the city-state mounted up to EUR 167,8 billion based on this report. In Vietnam’s case, the figures totalled EUR 12,5 billion and EUR 19,2 billion, respectively, according to this factsheet.

With the onset of the EU’s new-generation FTAs, Singapore and Vietnam have become even more attractive as business gateways for the EU in a fast-growing Southeast Asian region. Apart from dismantling punitive tariffs and quantitative restrictions (as conventional FTAs do) across different product lines and timetables, both FTAs with Singapore and Vietnam are expected to benefit EU exporters, suppliers, and investors in a number of areas, including but not limited to:

1. Removal of non-tariff barriers to trade and investment in renewable energy generation;

2. Better market access for environmental protection services (e.g. nature and landscape protection, sanitation, and similar services) and other professional services (e.g. architectural, urban planning, and urban landscape architectural services);

3. More open government procurement system, such as in the construction sector;

4. Streamlined customs procedures and trade facilitation for the benefit of all businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Dedicated readers may find more information from the European Commission’s published literature on the EU-Singapore FTA and EU-Vietnam FTA.

Sectors in-focus

Working programme

8 September | Arrival in Hanoi

9 September | Market opportunities for EU enterprises in Vietnam

  • Promoting sustainable development under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement / Vietnam Ministry of Trade & Industry
  • Supporting the Eco-Industrial Park Initiative for Sustainable Industrial Zones in Vietnam / Hanoi Industrial & Export Processing Zones Authority
  • Business partner meetings with Vietnamese companies

10 September | Visits to strategic locations: Vietnam Electricity & Thang Long Industrial Park

11 September | Flight to Singapore

12 September | Market opportunities for EU enterprises in Singapore

  • Promoting sustainable development under the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement / Singapore Ministry of Industry & Trade
  • Supporting the 2030 targets under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015 / Ministry of the Environment & Water Resources and Ministry of National Development
  • Business partner meetings with Singaporean companies

13 September | Visits to strategic locations: CleanTech Park & Singapore Science Park

14 September | End of trade mission and departure

Bundle inclusions

Participation fees

We implement a sliding scale of participation fees based on the EU’s definition of SMEs. Kilowatt fees are applicable for micro enterprises; Megawatt for small; Gigawatt for medium; and Terawatt for large:

1. Micro enterprises have fewer than 10 employees and a turnover or balance sheet total not more than EUR 2 million.

2. Small enterprises have 10 to 50 employees and a turnover or balance sheet total not more than EUR 10 million.

3. Medium enterprises have 50 to 250 employees and a maximum turnover of EUR 50 million or a balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million.

4. Large enterprises have more than 250 employees and a turnover above EUR 50 million or a balance sheet total more than EUR 43 million.

Application & external partnerships

Interested EU enterprises may register their interest to join the trade mission by completing this application form.

We are also open to working with external collaborators from Europe and Asia. If you would like to cooperate with us by onboarding EU, Vietnamese, or Singaporean enterprises to participate in our trade mission, please send a note to trademissions@europdevconsulting.com.