Monday, January 18, 2016

MFA to expand S’pore’s relevance, international space: Vivian

Francis Law,; see also.

Vivian Balakrishnan image from article

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) will seek to create opportunities overseas for Singaporeans, as part of efforts to expand Singapore’s relevance and international space, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.

It will facilitate access to markets for Singapore companies in sectors where they have comparative strengths through “active diplomacy”, in emerging economies like Africa, Central Asia and Latin America, said Dr Balakrishnan, in the ministry’s addendum to the President’s address released today (Jan 18).

In his address at the opening of the thirteenth Parliament last Friday (15 Jan), President Tony Tan had noted the need to “invest in our security and expand our international space through diplomacy”.

Noting the Republic will have to navigate an increasingly complex and unpredictable strategic and security landscape, Dr Balakrishnan said the MFA also plans to create new trade and investment opportunities for Singapore companies through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). “Economically, the global outlook is uncertain, although landmark initiatives such as the ASEAN Economic Community and Trans-Pacific Partnership offer promising prospects,” he said.

Recognising the demand for foreign companies looking to expand into the region, the MFA also aims promote Singapore as a major global and regional business hub for such companies, while promoting “Singapore’s vibrancy through greater cultural and people-to-people linkages and public diplomacy”.

Apart from creating opportunities overseas for Singaporeans, MFA will also focus its efforts on “maintaining Singapore’s relevance to the world” and “expanding its international space as well as supporting Singaporeans who are living and travelling abroad”.

Singapore will assume the role of ASEAN Chair in 2018, and a number of important meetings will be held here, including the ASEAN Summit. This presents Singapore “an opportunity to showcase and advance the interests of Singapore and ASEAN to the world”, said Dr Balakrishnan.

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