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Written reply to PQ on CPTPP

Written reply to PQ on CPTPP

Question

Mr Desmond Choo
: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry with the coming into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on 30 December 2018 (a) what will be its near and long-term importance on Singapore’s trade and GNP; (b) how can our companies take advantage of the CPTPP; and (c) how does it impact Enterprise Singapore’s and Economic Development Board’s strategies.

Written reply

1. To date, seven countries have ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which will enter into force on 30 December 2018.  The CPTPP will expand Singapore’s economic space and promote new sources of growth for trade and investment.  Singapore’s total exports and GDP can each potentially increase by up to 0.2% as a result.  These gains are in addition to the benefits we enjoy from our extensive network of Free Trade Agreements with many of the CPTPP members.  We also expect deeper economic and trade activities with Mexico and Canada, the two CPTPP countries with which Singapore does not have existing FTAs.

2. The CPTPP will make it easier for our companies to do business in the region.  It will boost trade and investment flows and integrate the region into a single manufacturing base and market, allowing Singapore companies to operate more seamlessly across the CPTPP countries.  There are a number of opportunities for our businesses.  First, Singapore-based goods producers will gain from the substantial elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers when exporting to the CPTPP markets.  Second, service providers will enjoy preferential market access in a wide range of sectors such as professional services, telecommunications, transport, and energy.  Third, investors will benefit from the removal of restrictions on foreign equity, as well as improvements in investment protection.  Fourth, enterprises will be able to bid for more government procurement contracts in jurisdictions which were previously closed to foreign companies.  

3. Beyond these direct benefits, the CPTPP also establishes a common set of enforceable rules that address modern trade and investment issues.  Specifically, setting rules and standards in new areas such as e-commerce and intellectual property would foster innovation and the creation of new industries.  The Agreement also aims to promote inclusive trade, with specific provisions that support small and medium enterprises, including through capacity building activities.

4. The CPTPP is aligned with the strategies of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as our economic agencies including Enterprise Singapore and the Economic Development Board.  The CPTPP provides a platform for Singapore companies to strengthen their export networks and access opportunities overseas, through tariff reductions and ensuring a level playing field across the Asia-Pacific markets.  This reinforces our ongoing efforts to enhance Singapore’s connectivity and help our companies grow through internationalisation.  With the CPTPP, we will be well-positioned to continue attracting companies from diverse and innovative industries to set up, grow and create new businesses from Singapore.  MTI is working with ESG and EDB to increase awareness of the CPTPP and help companies fully utilise its benefits.

 
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