Taiwan-Singapore Economic Relations
The “Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership” (ASTEP) was signed on 7 November 2013 and entered into force on 19 April 2014. Total bilateral trade value for the first year after ASTEP’s entry into force amounted to US$28.18 billion, up 0.7% from that of the previous year. Despite the impact of the plunge in global trade and the fact that bilateral trade value fell to US$24.58 billion in 2015 and to US$23.67 billion in 2016, the value of trade rebounded in 2017 to US$26.34 billion, increasing 11% over the previous year. Bilateral trade value fell to US$25.74 billion in 2018 and rebounded in 2019 to US$26.11 billion.
As for bilateral investment, the provisions of ASTEP have greatly encouraged Taiwanese businesses to invest in Singapore. From 2014 to 2019, the Investment Commission approved 128 cases for investment in Singapore, totaling around US$3.64 billion, with the major targets being wholesale and retailing, electronic products and component manufacturing, and finance and insurance. Meanwhile, Singapore has invested in 1,076 cases in Taiwan, totaling about US$1.22 billion.
Taiwan is actively working to develop its smart education, smart transportation and smart machinery sectors, while Singapore is focused on the development of smart technology and smart cities. In order to advance cooperation in smart industries, Taiwan invited Singaporean businesses to organize a delegation to attend COMPUTEX TAIPEI in May 2019, during which the “2019 Singapore-Taiwan Cooperation Form” was held on 29 May. This included seminars, exhibitions and business-networking events for firms from our two sides. Online events in 2020 will be organized to further promote exchanges and cooperation among our respective academia, governments and businesses to develop the smart industries of Taiwan and Singapore.