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 reached US$28.18 billion, up 0.7% from that of the previous year. Despite the impact from 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. However, the trade value fell to US$25.79 billion in 2018.
As for bilateral investment, the provisions of ASTEP have greatly encouraged Taiwanese businesses to invest in Singapore. From 2014 to 2018, the Investment Commission approved 101 investment cases to Singapore, totaling around US$3 billion, with the major targets for investment being wholesale and retailing, electronic products and component manufacturing, and finance and insurance. Meanwhile, Singapore has invested in 868 cases in Taiwan, totaling around US$972 million.
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 the smart industry, Taiwan invited Singaporean businesses to organize a delegation to attend COMPUTEX TAIPEI in June 2018, during which the “2018 Taiwan–Singapore Smart ++ Cooperation Form” was held on 7 June. This included seminars, exhibitions and business-networking events for firms from two sides. Similar event in 2019 will be organized to further promote exchanges and cooperation between academia, government and industry in the smart industry of Taiwan and Singapore.