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Singapore-Malaysia Enhancing Resilience and Collaboration

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The Second Annual Ministerial Dialogue (AMD) between the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore (MTI), and the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, Malaysia (MITI), convened in Singapore. The dialogue, established in 2023, focuses on pioneering areas such as the Digital Economy and Green Economy, aiming to foster resilience and sustainability in supply chains across both nations, emphasising technological advancements and economic collaboration, followed by developments in trade, cybersecurity and business support initiatives.

Initiating the dialogue, both Co-chairs – H.E. Gan Kim Yong and YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz – emphasised the strategic importance of enhancing economic cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia and affirmed the mutual commitment to strengthen bilateral economic ties through innovative collaborations, particularly in digital and green economies.

Furthermore, advancements were acknowledged in the Green Economy through the Capacity Development Programme for Exporters, focusing on sustainable practices and meeting green standards in export activities. This programme, facilitated by Enterprise Singapore and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in adopting green practices.

The dialogue underscored joint initiatives to foster business development, including the Malaysia-Singapore Third Country Business Development Fund (MSBDF), which facilitates joint missions and collaborations in third countries. Recent ventures into Thailand exemplify bilateral cooperation across various sectors, highlighting ongoing efforts to capitalise on shared strengths and explore new market opportunities.

The inauguration of the Supply Chain Cooperation Workgroup (SCWG) during the dialogue is aimed at enhancing supply chain resilience, particularly in response to global disruptions observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative underscores the interdependency of both economies and emphasises the necessity for increased cooperation.

In the realm of digital economy cooperation, significant strides were noted in trade facilitation, cloud computing, and real-time payment systems, aimed at digitalising cross-border trade activities and ensuring interoperability. Discussions under the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement further underlined collaborative efforts in enhancing regional digital integration.

Moreover, the Capacity Development Programme for Exporters, spearheaded by Enterprise Singapore and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, continues to empower SMEs to adopt green practices, crucial for meeting international sustainability standards.

Cybersecurity emerged as a pivotal concern in safeguarding digital trade, with planned engagements between Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency and Malaysia’s National Cyber Security Agency aimed at reinforcing cyber resilience and ensuring the security of cross-border transactions.

This strategic collaboration underscores the importance of joint efforts in addressing cybersecurity challenges, particularly in the context of digital trade, where robust defences are essential to protect against evolving cyber threats and ensure the integrity of digital transactions across borders.

OpenGov Asia reported that the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) signed an MoU in February this year to combat telecommunications scams. This initiative aims to enhance cross-border cooperation in sharing intelligence and implementing joint strategies against scammers targeting both countries.

Key areas of focus include regulatory support, research, education, and mutual exchange of information related to scam calls and text messages. This partnership underscores the commitment of Singapore and Malaysia to collaboratively address the cross-border challenge of telecommunications scams, leveraging their close geographical proximity and shared objectives.

Concluding with a commitment to open and free trade, the dialogue anticipates leveraging Malaysia’s upcoming ASEAN Chairmanship in 2025 to forge stronger regional partnerships. The AMD remains pivotal in fostering economic synergies and resilience amidst evolving global dynamics.


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