In order to deepen substantial economic relations between Taiwan and Singapore, Yesterday (April 12th), Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung led a team consisting of city government officials and representatives from multiple Taichung industries to visit the Singapore Business Federation. Mayor Lin expressed his wish to for a bilateral forum and his desire to use the opportunity to deepen substantial collaboration. Singapore Business Federation expressed optimism toward the idea, and that it would prepare a team to research and discuss the topics that should be prioritized in the collaboration. It plans to visit Taichung in June and visit aerospace, smart machinery, and other industries.
Mayor Lin, accompanied by Chief of Taichung’s Economic Development Bureau, Lu Yao-chih, Chief of the Department of Urban Development, Wang Chun-chieh, as well as the Director General of the Industrial Development and Investment Promotion Committee of Taichung City, Huang Wang Hsiu, along with representatives from the precision machinery, exhibition, food, electronics, biotechnology industries, visited the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and held talks with its Vice Chairman, Fu Chun-an. SBF is Singapore’s largest business federation, with the number of member companies topping 15,000.
Mayor Lin commented, that after president elect Tsai Ing-wen put forward the “New Southern Policy”, Taichung City chose Singapore as its first stop. Based on ASTEAP and to be geared towards international conventions, Taichung hopes to work closely with India, the Middle East, etc. Since Singapore is a founding member of TPP, Taichung hopes through close collaborations, that it will move towards the signing of the TPP.
Mayor Lin also mentioned that Taichung has airports and harbors, a well-developed transportation system, a well-layered industry and commerce, a vigorous precision machinery industry, and the world-renowned Giant Bicycle industry. Of the 5 new innovation research plans, Taichung has both the smart machinery and national defense and aerospace industries. Taiwan’s leading wafer manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. will also set up a plant in Taichung.
Mayor Lin said, under the structure of FTA, Taichung and Singapore could establish a promotion committee for the economies in order to undertake collaborative trade and investment protocols, work together to set collaborative issues, and through the establishment window, the model for collaborative planning, designing preferential incentives, and other methods to deepen the cooperation.
Vice Chairman Fu pointed out that it is an honor that Mayor Lin chose Singapore as the first stop after the “New Southern Policy” was enacted. He also commented that Taichung has the potential to develop and looks forwards to further talks. He plans to visit Taiwan on June 20th, visit the Taichung City Government and, after reaching a mutual consensus, form a work committee and sign the collaborative plans.
Chief of Taichung’s Economic Development Bureau, Lu Yao-chi expressed that in 2014, Taiwan and Singapore’s trade amounted to 28.9 billion U.S. dollars, the most among the ASEAN member countries. Singapore is also Taiwan’s 5th largest trade partner. In terms of exports, Taiwan’s export to Singapore amounted to 20.5 billion U.S. dollars, also the most among the ASEAN member countries. Taiwan’s import from Singapore amounted to 8.376 billion U.S. dollars, second to only Malaysia among the ASEAN member countries. Further partnership between the 2 countries will prove beneficial for both countries.
Last night, Mayor Lin met with multiple representatives from many of Singapore’s businesses. During the meeting, Chief Lu explained Taichung’s advantages through a briefing. The Singaporean representatives in attendance included the Honorary Chairman of Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, SACEOS, Mr. Liao Chun-sheng, Chairman of GIUM International, Chen Yi-jen, Supervisor of Singapore Post, Steven Sim, CEO of ATRON PTE.LTD., Wu Chung-wei, CEO of Phoenix Molecular, Ou Chung-Pei, PhD, Sales Director of Bio-essence, Tu Te-jen, CEO of Tien Yuan Chemical (PTE) LTD, Shih Chih-long, and Chairman of Erect Group, Chang Yao-fu, etc and had exchanges with the Taichung industries representatives.
Mayor Lin emphasized that this visit was not only to participate in Singapore’s International Food Expo in hopes to promote Taichung’s food to the world, but also to sign and collaborate on a memorandum between Singapore’s leading businesses and Singapore’s tourism and hotel industry members. In order to strengthen sponsorship, investment and collaborative tourism, the team visited the expo center and Singapore government units for the Taichung city government to reference. The last day of the tour will consist of a visit to Kerry TJ Logistics and, through the logistics, push Taichung City’s quality agricultural products towards the international stage, and prepare for the 2018 Taichung World Flora Expo.