It was widely reported that S’pore and the EU will start talks next Monday on a free trade agreement.
What was not reported (or if it was, I missed it) is that the EU had made the start of talks conditional on S’pore joining the likes of HK and Dubai in providing certain info on the financial transactions of EU citizens. S’pore had said “Bugger off” (OK in a polite way) as it wanted to make sure that clients of private banks (esp those of Swiss banks) had the confidence of secrecy from EU eyes.
It is reasonable to assume that S’pore has changed its stance given that the West has become more assertive abt info from places like Switzerland, rather than the EU accepting S’pores “Bugger off” stance. Note, last yr S’pore agreed to abide by the OECD code on info to ensure that it was removed from the OECD’s grey list of offshore centres.