The legislature yesterday ratified the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP).
The agreement is to take effect 30 days after Taiwan and Singapore notify the each other of the completion of domestic legal procedures necessitated by the agreement.
The government still needs to pass related amendments to the Customs Import Tariff Act (海關進口稅則) and Shipping Act (航業法) before it can make the required revisions to domestic laws to implement the ASTEP, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said.
Wang said the legislature will prioritize the review of related amendments once the bills have been sent to the legislature by the Executive Yuan.
The pact is expected to take effect in February or March next year as the legislative session is scheduled to end on Jan. 14.
Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Bill Cho (卓士昭) yesterday said the agreement is expected to increase domestic production value by NT$40 billion (US$1.3 billion) and create 6,000 jobs.
Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said the agreement is an important milestone and called on the legislature to work with the government to hasten the passage of related amendments to boost efforts to sign more trade pacts to avoid marginalization in the international community.
Under the agreement, Singapore is to remove all tariffs on goods from Taiwan, including on six types of alcoholic beverages not covered by Singapore’s tariff reduction commitments under the WTO.
Taiwan is to eliminate tariffs on 83 percent of Singaporean imports and gradually make 99.48 percent of products from the city-state tariff-free, officials said.
Taiwan is to maintain import tariffs on 40 agricultural products, including rice, garlic, dried mushrooms, red beans, pineapples, mangoes, coconuts and unshelled peanuts.
Additional reporting by CNA
WAR FUNDING: A report by UK and Ukrainian defense analysts said that Taiwanese exports of a compound used in gunpowder have been helping Russia propagate its war About 20 percent of nitrocellulose — a compound used in gunpowder — imported into Russia has been sourced from Taiwan, a joint British-Ukrainian investigative report showed. Nitrocellulose is a key component of smokeless gunpowder, and the EU has banned export of the compound to Russia due to its ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine. The report said that nitrocellulose produced in Taiwan makes its way to Russia by passing through other countries such as Turkey. Only one company, T.N.C. Industrial Co (台硝), was named in the report, which also named China and Germany as key sources of the compound for
A Singaporean social media streamer who goes by the pseudonym Kiaraakitty faked an egg attack by an alleged passerby during a livestream in Kaohsiung on Feb. 9, the city’s police department said on Saturday. The department was responding to the streamer’s claim earlier this month that a stranger had thrown eggs at her during a recent visit to Kaohsiung. Kiaraakitty is known for posting provocative content on livestreaming sites such as Twitch and Discord, as well as other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. She also posts on paid adult content Web site OnlyFans. In the video dated Feb. 9,
HOT TOPIC: The Taiwan-born founder of a restaurant in the Japanese city is generally credited with creating the super spicy dish, which was originally intended as a staff meal For Taiwanese, ramen is one of the dishes that most represents Japan; for Japanese, its origins are in China. Then there is “Taiwan ramen,” which can only be found in Japan, but not in Taiwan. It is almost impossible to reach a consensus on the origin of any dish, but a brief look at its history might be helpful. Not many people who are not Japanese question whether ramen is really Japanese. Yet think about it — ramen is often unctuous and rich, unlike most other must-try Japanese foods familiar to foreign visitors to the country, such as sushi and soba noodles. According
MORE THAN USUAL: The number of naval ships in the area was more than the usual four to six in a 24-hour window and the highest so far this year, data showed Eleven Chinese naval vessels were detected around Taiwan, the highest daily number this year, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday as a row between Taipei and Beijing over a fatal fishing boat incident drags on. In the 24 hours leading up to 6am yesterday, China deployed 15 warplanes, 11 naval vessels and one balloon in the waters and skies around Taiwan, the ministry said. At least 15 more Chinese warplanes had been detected since then, it said. The number of Chinese naval ships was more than the usual four to six in a 24-hour window and the highest so far this year,