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SMEs to benefit from TPP: Lim Hng Kiang

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 10:15
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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal was designed to be more inclusive so that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may benefit as well, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang said on Tuesday.

THE Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal was designed to be more inclusive so that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may benefit as well, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang said on Tuesday.

On Monday, Singapore and 11 other countries - including Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, the United States and Vietnam - concluded drawn-out negotiations for the TPP. The countries include some of Singapore's biggest trading partners.

M Lim said: "It will transform the region by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers substantially for both goods and services, encouraging greater investment, and addressing 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."

The free trade agreement (FTA) will boost trade and investment flows between TPP countries as well as integrate the region into a single manufacturing base and market. As such, firms in companies will benefit from increased market access.

Under the TPP, new and updated trade rules will deliver a more open and transparent environment for Singapore investors and traders.

"Robust and balanced rules to promote fair competition and good governance, encourage innovation and grow the digital economy, will create more opportunities and allow Singapore-based companies to operate in the region with greater ease and confidence," the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a release.

Collectively, the TPP countries offer a population of 800 million and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$30 trillion, or 40 per cent of global GDP. 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 Singapore, amounting to S$240 billion.

"The 12 TPP countries will work intensively to tie up remaining details, and produce the final text for public review," said MTI in the release, adding that the respective countries will also each commence their domestic approval processes.

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