Scope of Services Covered
The Cross-border Trade in Services chapter in ASTEP covers a spectrum of services sectors, notably maritime, transportation, professional and business services.
Market Access Commitments and Other Core Obligations
The Cross-Border Trade in Services chapter of ASTEP establishes the following key obligations for services trade:
Each Party is required to observe these three obligations unless a specific exception is included in a Party’s services schedule (or by a general exception in the text of ASTEP). This is called a ‘negative list’ approach to scheduling services commitments.
ASTEP also contains a mechanism that ensures that if and when further domestic liberalisation is undertaken or improvements are made in relation to certain laws or regulations etc in Chinese Taipei, those liberalisation and improvements are captured by ASTEP and automatically passed onto Singapore services suppliers. This obligation applies equally to Singapore as well and this helps to ensure that the benefits of ASTEP endure well into the future.
Chinese Taipei’s Market Access Commitments
Chinese Taipei has existing commitments for services market access (including Mode 3 investment) under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
Under ASTEP, Chinese Taipei has agreed to make additional commitments and expand the coverage of committed sectors, including telecommunications, services incidental to fishing and energy production, distribution, maritime and road transport, and entertainment, sporting and recreational services. Notably for maritime transportation services, there are fewer requirements necessary for Singapore suppliers seeking to engage in maritime transportation services as a vessel carrier in Chinese Taipei. These outcomes provide Singapore service suppliers with the certainty of continued openness for operation of such services in these sectors in Chinese Taipei.