The Ministry of Economic Affairs is pleased to announce the signing of the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Partnership (“ASTEP”) at 9:30, November 7, 2013. ASTEP, following ANZTEC between Taiwan and New Zealand, is Taiwan’s first ECA with its trading partner in Southeast Asia, and a great boost for Taiwan’s efforts to integrate with regional economy.
MOEA explains that, Singapore is strategically positioned in the hub of Southeast Asia trade with a sophisticated trade regime that aligns with international standards. Singapore, with its comprehensive trade strategy, has signed 20 FTAs with 31 trading partners, many of which have chosen Singapore as their first FTA partner in Southeast Asia. The conclusion of ASTEP will greatly facilitate Taiwan’s cooperation with Singapore and with other Southeast Asian countries, and signifies an important step for our economic strategy to strengthen Taiwan, to connect with the Asia-Pacific region, and to position ourselves globally.
ASTEP contains 17 chapters covering a wide range of topics, including Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Customs Procedures and Cooperation, Cross-Border Trade in Services, Investment, Government Procurement, Technical Barriers to Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Electronic Commerce, Competition, Intellectual Property, Dispute Settlement, Institutional Provisions, and General Provisions (including the Preamble, Definitions, General Exceptions, and Transparency).
Glad to hear that Taiwan finally inks an economic cooperation agreement with a country of significant economic power other than China~ 😛 Hopefully it will substantially pan out! 🙂