Taiwan has signed a free trade agreement with Singapore, its first with a Southeast Asian economy, as the island continues to raise its international profile and lessen its dependence on the Chinese mainland, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Singapore is Taiwan’s fourth-largest export market, with two-way trade worth US$28.2 billion annually, Taiwan’s government said in a statement. The deal is expected to remove all trade barriers between the two economies in phases within the next 15 years, the report said. The tariff reduction may boost Taiwan’s gross domestic product by just 0.1 percent by then, but the agreement may help it win similar deals with other economies including Indonesia, India and the Philippines, the government was quoted as saying.
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