Chan Chun Sing calls for deeper integration at Apec meeting

Minister Chan Chun Sing (second from left) at the Apec Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting in Chile on Friday.
Minister Chan Chun Sing (second from left) at the Apec Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting in Chile on Friday.PHOTO: CHAN CHUN SING/FACEBOOK

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing has urged Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) economies to step up on deepening regional economic integration and advance discussions on next-generation trade and investment issues, including the digital economy, during a bloc meeting in Vina del Mar, Santiago.

"Had fruitful discussions with representatives from 21 Apec economies at the Apec Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting, chaired by Chile this year," Mr Chan wrote on Facebook yesterday at the end of the two-day meeting.

The minister revealed that Singapore has nominated port operator PSA International to join the Asia-Pacific Model E-Port Network (Apmen), a network stitched to promote interconnectivity and interoperability of electronic networks and systems to enhance trade facilitation and supply chain connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

By joining Apmen, Singapore will enhance its connectivity with the 21 Apmen members across 12 Apec economies, said Mr Chan.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Mr Chan also attended a Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership press conference organised by Chile, where he emphasised the strategic and economic significance of the agreement, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement.

"While in Chile, I also hosted a business roundtable with Chilean business leaders, and was glad to learn of the Chilean businesses' great interest in the Singapore market," said Mr Chan, while highlighting potential sectors for investment in Chile, such as information and communications technology, fintech and logistics.

"I hope companies from both Singapore and Chile will explore and capture the many opportunities in each other's markets," said Mr Chan.

Meanwhile, talks have begun among Singapore, New Zealand and Chile on an agreement named the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (Depa) to establish new trade rules and best practices for the digital era. Initiated by Singapore, Depa aims to tackle issues such as artificial intelligence governance, said a joint statement issued on the sidelines of Apec on Friday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 19, 2019, with the headline 'Chan Chun Sing calls for deeper integration at Apec meeting'. Subscribe