UPDATE : 2018.11.20 TUE 17:59
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Singapore whole-heartedly welcomes President Moon’s plan to boost cooperation with ASEANInterview with Ambassador Yip Wei Kiat of Singapore in Seoul

By Kim Tae-moon (feature editor of The Korea Post media)

Ambassador Yip Wei Kiat of the Republic of Singapore in Seoul said that Singapore whole-heartedly welcomed President Moon Jae-in's remarks about boosting cooperation between Korea and ASEAN countries. Ambassador Yip made the remarks at an exclusive interview with The Korea Post at the Embassy of Singapore in Seoul on Aug. 28, 2017 on the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of county’s independence.

Ambassador Yip expressed hopes that more Korean companies will invest in Singapore, which not only has world's third largest oil refining industry, is the hub of global logistics and finance, but also a leader in high-value-added industries, such as high-tech and biomedicine. Many Korean companies are welcome to enter Singapore to benefit from the business-friendly government policy. Excerpts from the remarks by Ambassador Yip at the interview follow:

Sharing Singapore’s Urban Planning experience with foreign delegates.

Singapore is in a good position to harness innovation for growth in the Future Economy. According to the 2017 Global Innovation Index, Singapore is the seventh most innovative economy in the world. The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index ranks Singapore fourth in the world for the strength of their IP regime.

Currently Singapore’s Government is carrying out a Smart Nation Initiative that implies provision of Digital Government Services, implementation of Enhanced Mobility and Healthcare programs, investing in integrated digital platforms to facilitate and support the development of innovative services by businesses and people and Good Infrastructure and Innovation Ecosystem.

The Smart Nation initiative is a national effort to leverage technology to support better living, build stronger communities, and create more opportunities, for all. Singaporeans are putting in place the required infrastructure, policies, tools and enabling platforms to facilitate and encourage co-creation by people and businesses with the Government. Singapore is developing a National Digital Identity where citizens can digitally identify themselves, and easily sign and securely transact with Government and businesses.

Digital Government Services have helped transactions with companies and citizens become more seamless. CorpPass acts as a single corporate digital ID for businesses, making business transactions with the government more convenient and secure. Foreign entities are also able to make use of this portal without having to register for a Unique Entity Numbers (UEN).

As a one-stop health information and services web portal and mobile application, HealthHub offers citizens access to own health and medical records, medical appointments, and directory of healthcare facilities. Authorised caregivers can also be granted access to help better manage care receiver’s health.

According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Health Statistics 2017, Singapore is ranked third in the world for average life expectancy and second in the world for healthy life expectancy.

As of last year, Singapore is among the countries where Korea invests the most. Alongside with many other Korean companies successfully working in Singapore, LS Cable recently signed a 370 billion won contract to supply high-voltage underground cables.

Currently oil-refining companies, such as S-Oil; construction companies, such as SsangYong E & C, that built Singapore’s landmark – Marina Bay Sands, Hyundai E & C and other; electronics producers, such as Samsung Electronics; shipbuilding companies, such as Heung-A Shipping Co., Ltd.; financial institutions, such as KEB Hana Bank and Shinhan Bank, as well as big Korean fashion groups and fashion industry related companies are widely presented in Singapore.

Photo shows Ambassador Yip Wei Kiat of Singapore (second from right) with President Kim Hyung-dae of The Korea Post media and Editor Kim Tae-moon (third and fourth from right) and Reporter Ms. Kim Sua.

Moreover, one of the biggest Korean cosmetic companies - Amore Pacific – has also entered Singapore market competing with other high-end cosmetics and luxury global brands.

Ambassador Yip mentioned in particular that he hopes to invite more Korean companies to Singapore, a hub of Southeast Asian markets, by introducing the global brand – Amore Pacific – as a representative company, which is using the Big Data to concentrate on product localization.

Ambassador explained the importance of genetically customized cosmetics development for customers from different ASEAN countries because of different weather conditions and other environmental and geographical factors. Development of new products suitable for customer's needs could be a fresh business niche that will help to expand the surrounding Southeast Asian market.

In support of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Singapore is partnering UN agencies to provide technical assistance and capacity building to developing countries in the areas of leadership and governance, sustainable cities, and water and sanitation solutions.

Singapore remains an open economy that is connected to the world and relevant to its needs, especially in the face of global economic and technological shifts today. They continue to maintain and deepen linkages to regional and global economies that will create new opportunities for businesses and people. Singapore has started implementing some of the strategies recommended by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), such as the rollout of the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs). The Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) was convened a year ago in response to significant changes in external environment, to re-examine Singapore’s economic strategies and chart next phase of growth. The two main shifts being subdued global growth and rapid technological change. They are looking to build deeper and more diverse international connections by linking up with innovation hubs around the world, and connecting to less traditional markets. This allows to tap on the growth opportunities in Asia and elsewhere, for mutual benefit with like-minded partners.

Meanwhile, the Embassy of Singapore in Korea held a ceremony marking the 52nd anniversary of country’s independence at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul on the 18th of the month. The event was attended by the Korean delegation, including Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mi, Member of Parliament Lee On-joo, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoon Byeong-see and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yoo Myung-hwan.

On August 9, 1965, Singapore became independent from Malaysia, and people celebrate this with the National Day Parade (NDP). The theme this year is #OneNationTogether. For the first time, they have incorporated the hash symbol (#) into an NDP theme, #OneNationTogether, enabling Singaporeans to share the rally call through social media. The “#” is especially special to Singaporeans, serving as symbols of unity and home, for two reasons: “#” draws a close resemblance to the iconic image of four interlocking arms found in nation’s first $10 note, representing nation’s strength in social unity and multicultural harmony. “#” is also a familiar feature in Singaporean home addresses, making “#” synonymous with the idea of home.

The occupation, a period of extreme hardship and suffering for Singaporeans, remains a powerful and poignant reminder to Singaporeans that they once paid a terrible price because they could not defend themselves. Singapore therefore pledged at the founding of their nation, in 1965, that they would never allow that to happen again.

Tae-moon Kim  edt@koreapost.com

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