The bilateral ties between Singapore and the European Union (EU) have taken an important step forward as both sides have initialled the text of the EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (ESPCA).

The agreement will strengthen the political dialogue between the two sides and establish the framework for cooperation in a wide range of fields such as education, transport, energy, science and technology, coming into force once they complete all necessary procedures.

Earlier, both sides finished all legal documents related to the Free Trade Agreement on September 20, taking a closer step to ratifying the document.

The agreements are expected to bring the Singapore-EU ties to a new height.

Singapore, the EU’s largest trader among Southeast Asian countries, ranks second in term of the continent’s Asian investors while the union is Singapore’s biggest importer. Two-way goods exchange increases by around 40 percent between 2009 and 2011 and the trade in services has grown by 41 percent in the same period.-VNA