Thursday, November 7, 2013
Taipei, Nov. 8 - The newly signed Taiwan-Singapore trade pact can help Taiwan further open its market and move another step toward regional economic integration, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) said Friday.
The pact, officially called the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP), was signed in Singapore Thursday.
\"The deal is strategically important (for Taiwan),\" as Singapore is a founding member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a core member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ANZ said in a statement.
The bilateral pact can enhance Taiwan\'s chances of joining the TPP or signing an agreement with ASEAN, the bank added. It is Taiwan\'s first economic partnership agreement with an ASEAN member state.
Even though Singapore already has a free trade deal with China, Taiwan\'s special access to the Chinese market under the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement may attract more Singaporean businesses to establish a presence in Taiwan, which may also help Taiwan\'s industrial structure to become more services-oriented, ANZ said.
Taiwan and Singapore have had a strong manufacturing relationship for many years, so the pact is unlikely to affect the current bilateral trade structure significantly, the bank said.
The agreement is expected to add US$701 million to Taiwan\'s gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 15 years, boosting local output value by NT$42.1 billion (US$1.43 billion) and creating 6,154 jobs, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
It is also forecast to increase Taiwan\'s total exports by US$782 million and imports by US$719 million.
Singapore is Taiwan\'s fifth-largest trade partner, fourth-largest export market and eighth-largest source of imports. In 2012, bilateral trade between Taiwan and Singapore amounted to US$28.2 billion, accounting for 5 percent of Taiwan\'s total external trade.
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