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Singapore and Republic of Korea ink three MoUs To Foster Greater Economic Collaboration

Singapore and Republic of Korea ink three MoUs To Foster Greater Economic Collaboration

The Singapore Government, in a press
release
on 12 July 2018, announced that Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and
Industry
and the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and
Energy
exchanged three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) today to promote greater economic
collaboration in the areas of trade, industry, and
energy.

The MoUs were exchanged by Dr Tan Wu Meng, Senior
Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs, Singapore and
Mr Kim Hyun-chong, Minister for Trade, the
Republic of Korea in the presence of Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, Singapore
and Mr Moon Jae-in, President, Republic
of Korea.

Under the first Memorandum of Understanding,
which is on trade, and is entitled the ‘Cooperation in Free and Open Trade’,
both sides will sign a Korea-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (KSFTA)
implementation review, which is scheduled to be launched within six months.
This Memorandum of Understanding also reaffirms a mutual commitment by both the
countries towards strengthening the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), including
via the further liberalisation of tariffs
for products under the Sensitive Track. In addition, the MoU commits both
countries to working together to reach a
substantive conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
(RCEP) negotiations by this year.

The second Memorandum of Understanding is
on industry and is entitled the ‘Technological Cooperation in Response to the
Fourth Industrial Revolution’. This MoU focuses on cooperation in Fourth
Industrial Revolution technologies and aims to enhance collaboration in the
fields of Medical/Bio-Technology,
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The collaborations between the countries
will include, but are not limited to (a) supporting joint R&D projects in
relevant fields of cooperation, which may involve industries, academia, and research institutions; and (b) holding
events such as joint seminars, conferences and business forums in areas of
mutual interests. The Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) and
Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and
Research (A*STAR) have been designated as the agencies responsible for the
implementation of this MoU.

The third and final Memorandum of Understanding is on energy. It is titled the
‘Cooperation in the Field of Smart Grids’ and will allow both countries to
pursue mutual cooperation in the areas of, but not limited to (a) smart grids,
including distributed power generation, micro-grids, energy storage systems and
advanced metering infrastructure; and (b) energy security and Internet of
Things (IOT) applications in energy
technologies. Additionally, cooperation includes, but is not limited to (a)
joint bilateral R&D projects in areas of mutual interest; and (b) technical
cooperation including training, exchange of personnel and information, and
conducting joint research, workshops, seminars, and symposia. The Korea
Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) and Singapore’s
Energy Market Authority (EMA) have been designated as the agencies responsible
for the implementation of this MoU.

In a statement to the press, Dr Tan Wu Meng, Singapore’s Senior
Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs said, “Singapore
and the Republic of Korea enjoy good bilateral economic relations and today’s MoUs
will further deepen our economic ties. I am particularly happy to note that
both countries have agreed to launch a KSFTA implementation review under the MoU
on free and open trade. The KSFTA is an important cornerstone of our bilateral
economic relations and this review will ensure that the agreement continues to
remain relevant to the business needs of both Singaporean and Korean
companies.”

In 2017, the Republic of Korea was Singapore’s
9th largest trading partner, with bilateral trade in goods amounting to S$45.4
billion.