Government eyes FTA with Singapore
Tuesday, Mar 28,2006
The government hopes to start negotiating with Singapore on a free trade agreement (FTA) within the next two years, the nation’s representative to Singapore Hu Wei-jen said yesterday.
Hu made the remarks during a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee. Hu was briefing legislators on the government’s efforts to promote a Taiwan-Singapore FTA.
Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen said at the same meeting that opposition from China was the biggest obstacle the government faced in promoting a Taiwan-Singapore FTA.
According to Hu, the proposed FTA has not made any progress since then-Singapore deputy prime minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Taiwan in 2004, triggering a strong protest from Beijing.
Hu said that Singapore has been seeking to sign FTAs with other countries including China in recent years but that China has not responded to Singapore’s request because Beijing is more interested in promoting economic integration with members of ASEAN.