Thu, Aug 29, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan-Singapore economic ties resilient, DBS says

IMPROVING RELATIONS:The bank launched a fair in Taipei featuring Singaporean firms operating in Taiwan in a bid to help Taiwanese become more familiar with the city-state

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

DBS Bank Taiwan general manager Lim Him-chuan, third left, and Singapore Trade Office in Taipei Representative Wong Wie Kuen, center, and others pose at the opening of of a fair introducing Singaporean companies in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Kao Shih-ching, Taipei Times

DBS Bank Taiwan (星展銀行) yesterday said that it expects economic ties between Taiwan and Singapore to remain strong, although the two trade-centric nations are easily affected by uncertainty over a US-China trade dispute.

The local unit of Singapore-based DBS Bank Ltd has seen some of its Taiwanese clients operating in Singapore and Singaporean clients running businesses in Taiwan facing more volatility due to trade tensions and a slowing global economy, general manager Lim Him-chuan (林鑫川) told reporters.

Amid falling exports, Singapore’s economy in the second quarter of this year contracted 3.3 percent from a quarter earlier and grew only 0.1 percent annually, which prompted the government to trim its whole-year growth forecast to less than 1 percent, the Singaporean Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Aug. 13.

“Like Taiwan, Singapore is highly sensitive to changes in global trade as it is an open economy,” Lim said.

“However, we believe that the two nations would improve in the long term and the economic cooperation between companies would continue as well,” he said.

The government has been helping companies transform and upgrade to become more resilient, encouraging the development of the service and biotech industries, he said.

Trade between Taiwan and Singapore has remained stable, with exports to the city-state rising 4.2 percent annually to NT$10.91 billion (US$347.23 million), compared with a 9.2 percent decline in exports to Southeast Asian nations in the January-to-July period, statistics compiled by the Ministry of Finance showed.

DBS yesterday opened a fair in Taipei introducing products and services offered by Singaporean companies operating in Taiwan.

The fair features the Merlion, the official mascot of Singapore.

Singapore Airlines Ltd, snack company Golden Duck Co, high-end bakery the Patissier and fitness company True Yoga Group are participating in the fair, which is to run through Monday in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義).

“We want to let more local customers become familiarized with Singapore and Singaporean companies, as we as a foreigner bank are often asked where we are from,” Lim said.

Even though DBS is a famous bank in Singapore, not all Taiwanese are aware of that, as the name of the local unit no longer indicates it is from Singapore, he said.

The bank said that it expects to see its wealth management business grow in the second half of this year or next year on the back of capital repatriation.

It would provide tax planning and financial investment advice for wealthy clients or businesses, Lim said.

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