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Trans-Pacific Partnership is a catalyst for Asia-Pacific growth: SBF

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 09:42
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The deal to create the world's largest free trade area is a catalyst for Asia-Pacific growth and good news for the Singapore business community, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) said on Tuesday.

THE deal to create the world's largest free trade area is a catalyst for Asia-Pacific growth and good news for the Singapore business community, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) said on Tuesday.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in Atlanta by 12 countries including the United States and Japan, representing 40 per cent of the global economy and a third of world trade, provides a broad set of rules to enhance free trade and investment.

The TPP, signed after seven years of negotiations, is envisioned as a high-quality 21st-century trade agreement that will boost regional economic integration and improve market access for Singapore's exports. It will also serve as a pathway towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

"The TPP will serve as the catalyst for advancement and provide an important framework and opportunities to enable businesses to achieve new growth," said Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF.

With global growth still below the pre-financial crisis level, businesses need a comprehensive and ambitious TPP which could open up new opportunities, strengthen trade and investment rules, as well as improve business conditions in the region, SBF said.

More importantly, it could effectively help to address the "behind the border" issues which many businesses face in today's complex environment, it added.

SBF also noted that the agreement has special provisions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which aim to help them integrate into the global supply chain and facilitate their business expansion. Addressing these issues will allow SMEs to invest, expand and also create jobs.

It hopes that the non-exclusive TPP, which has provisions to allow other trading nations in Asia to join later, can fulfil its role as an important and effective building block for the Apec's (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) long-term vision of FTAAP.

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