SINGAPORE: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement is set to transform the region, says Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang.
He said the TPP embodied what Singapore sees as the future of the Asia-Pacific.
He added that it would transform the region by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers substantially for both goods and services, encourage greater investments, and address new trade challenges in the modern economy.
“The TPP has also been deliberately designed to be more inclusive, so that small and medium-sized enterprises can take full advantage of its benefits,” he said in a statement released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry here today.
After five and a half years of negotiations, Singapore and 11 other countries, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the United States and Vietnam, successfully concluded negotiations for the TPP on Oct 5 in Atlanta, Georgia (United States).
The TPP is a high-standard, comprehensive regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will boost trade and investment flows between the countries concerned as well as integrate the region into a single manufacturing base and market.
Singaporean companies will benefit from increased market access with all 11 other TPP countries.
The TPP will put in place new and updated trade rules to assure Singapore investors and traders of a more open, predictable and transparent environment in the fast-growing regional marketplace.
Robust and balanced rules to promote fair competition and good governance, encourage innovation and grow the digital economy, will create more opportunities as well as allow Singapore-based companies to operate in the region with greater ease and confidence.
The TPP countries represent a large market for Singapore businesses, with a population of 800 million and a combined gross domestic products (GDP) of around US$30 trillion, amounting to 40 per cent of global GDP.
Collectively, these TPP countries are important trading partners of Singapore, comprising some of its biggest trading partners such as Malaysia, the United States, Japan, Australia and Vietnam.
In 2013, the TPP countries accounted for 30 per cent of Singapore’s total goods trade, worth S$300 billion, and 30 per cent of foreign direct investment in the country at S$240 billion.–BERNAMA