Taiwan's stock exchange is seeking to create a cross-border stock trading platform with Singapore by this year to boost overseas access to the island's listed shares, chairman Lee Sush-der said. "Opening access to our shares can benefit us with an active market and dynamic economy," he said yesterday. Fundraising in the market stood at NT$654.8 billion (HK$167.4 billion) in 2013, Lee said, which allowed companies "to enhance research, expand capacity and eventually bolster the economy". The cross-border collaboration sparked hopes Taiwan could work with the mainland on a possible cross-border trading scheme, just like the "through train" plan announced this month to allow mutual trading of stocks between the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. "The co-operation between Taiwan and Singapore gives people a lot of room for imagination. Ultimately, we could see markets in the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan connected as one," said Ben Kwong Man-bun, chief operating officer at KGI Asia. The trading platform, for which the Taiwan bourse and Singapore Exchange are discussing technical issues such as settlement rules, would lower costs for investors, Lee said. Taiwanese investors in Singapore stocks currently must buy through both local brokerages and securities firms based in the city state. Overseas trading through the current mechanism amounted to at least NT$800 billion last year, he said. "The links may start with Singapore and hopefully extend to Asean and Shanghai," Lee said. Taiwan's bourse is also in talks with its Shanghai counterpart to sign a co-operation pact as a prelude to a potential cross-strait link. Hong Kong and the mainland announced a plan on April 10 allowing purchases of Hong Kong-listed shares via the Shanghai stock exchange and vice versa. The cross-border trading efforts coincide with the introduction of an index comprising companies listed on the main board and on the GreTai Securities Market exchange.