Taiwan, Singapore trade deal from April 19
The ministry said in a statement that both countries have completed the necessary legal and administrative procedures to implement the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP).
In 2013, two-way trade topped $28.1 billion, and Singapore ranked as Taiwan's fifth-largest trade partner, the ministry said. It said the agreement is expected to spur bilateral economic cooperation and investment and bolster Taiwan's trade liberalization efforts while increasing its competitiveness.
The ministry also took the opportunity to emphasize Taiwan's long-standing hopes to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), two trade blocs under negotiation.
The pact with Singapore, which is in talks to join both blocs, will be a help for Taiwan, the foreign ministry said.
The TPP is being negotiated by the US and 11 other countries — Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico and Brunei.
The RCEP is being negotiated by all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, along with China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. ■