UAE and Singapore to enhance strong bilateral co-operation - GulfToday

UAE and Singapore to enhance strong bilateral co-operation

Participants during the 14th session of the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum.

Participants during the 14th session of the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum.

The 14th session of the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum (ADSJF) was held in Abu Dhabi under the co-chairmanship and in attendance of Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, and S Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations.

The forum was also attended by Sarah Bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairwoman of the Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE) and Chairwoman of Emirates College for Advanced Education Board of Trustees, and Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General and Special Representative of COP28, in addition to officials and senior representatives from a number of key public and private entities in the UAE and Singapore.

During the session, the Co-Chairs reaffirmed the strong bilateral relations between the UAE and Singapore.

The UAE continues to be Singapore’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, with total non-oil trade of $4.1 billion in 2021.

Both parties also expressed interest in exploring collaboration in mutual areas of strategic importance, including innovation, technology, financial services, industries, skills development, climate change, and food security.

Al Mubarak commented, “For more than a decade, the Abu Dhabi Singapore Joint Forum has been an effective platform for public and private entities from the UAE and Singapore to develop productive partnerships across a range of sectors of mutual interest. Serving as a cornerstone of the countries’ bilateral relationship, we look forward to further exploring and expanding our cooperation to benefit our businesses and people.”

Minister Iswaran, in turn, stated, “As important business hubs in our respective regions, Singapore and the UAE share a mutual interest in promoting economic collaboration for the benefit of our business communities. Over the years, we have made significant progress in innovation, trade digitalisation and fintech. I look forward to taking this partnership forward, focusing on fresh and forward-looking ideas such as low-carbon alternatives and food security.”

The Emirates College for Advanced Education and NIE International signed a strategic partnership to cooperate in the education sector in governance and policy, training programmes, and capacity building for UAE educators, aimed to facilitate greater exchange between both countries in skills and knowledge development.

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech hub, and EnterpriseSG, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support startups in both countries. Under the MoU, Hub71 and EnterpriseSG will work together to provide a range of services to startups, including mentorship, access to networks and resources, and opportunities for cross-border collaboration.

For more than 35 years, the UAE and Singapore have proactively fostered a productive and positive bilateral relationship anchored by active trade and investment. To broaden cooperation, the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum was established in 2007 as part of a joint commitment between both countries to explore mutual areas of strategic interest.

In 2019, the two Governments signed the Singapore-UAE Comprehensive Partnership (SUCP), a framework aimed at deepening existing areas of cooperation and exploring new areas of mutual benefit and interest of both countries, such as trade, industry & investment, financial cooperation, education & human resources development as well as sustainable development and energy.

Meanwhile Singapore is keen to collaborate with the UAE on digitalisation and decarbonisation in the maritime industry, a top executive told the Emirates News Agency.

“Singapore and the UAE enjoy very strong bilateral relations; we are both maritime hubs in different regions of the world and it is our role to ensure that whatever ships that cross in Singapore and the UAE, we are able to handle the different types of challenges, moving forward,” said Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

“Therefore, we are really looking forward to collaborating with the UAE in digitalisation and decarbonisation,” she added in an interview with WAM in Abu Dhabi.

Three key areas Digitalisation is one of the three key areas that will help the maritime industry face some important challenges, Ley Hoon noted. Through digitalisation, “we ensure that different parties are able to connect with one another, not just on port clearance but also on cargo clearance, allowing the goods to flow in a more seamless manner,” she explained. The second one, of course, is the effort of decarbonisation, the CEO said.

“It is important that the maritime industry further reduces emissions and works towards the IMO [International Maritime Organisation] goals of 2050. We need to look at what’s the future ship, what’s the type of ship that we can cater for in future,” she explained, referring to the IMO’s initial greenhouse gas (GHG) strategy that envisages reducing the total annual GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 50 per cent by 2050 compared to 2008.

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