Month: March 2019

22nd ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting: Relationship Ugraded to Strategic Partnership

THE 22nd EU-ASEAN ministerial meeting was held in Brussels on 21 January and brought together foreign ministers of the European Union and their counterparts from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan attended and co-chaired this event. They reaffirmed the significant role played by ASEAN and the European Union in shaping the political, socio-economic, and security agenda for both regions and globally, and agreed in principle to upgrade EU-ASEAN relations to a Strategic Partnership. “Today, we agreed in principle to upgrade our relation to a strategic partnership. It is a recognition of the strategic partnership we already have in many fields. It is an important signal showing that the two most advanced and most successful integration processes in the world stand firmly behind multilateralism and a rule-based global order,” said Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and ASEAN coordinator for EU relations said, “We represent two of the most successful regional organisations in the world. We share values and common goals. As we take our partnership to a greater height, we will continue to explore new areas in which we can cooperate and learn from each other, such as cybersecurity, maritime security, connectivity and climate change.” EU and ASEAN foreign ministers adopted a joint statement discussing cooperation on...

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Raisina Dialogue, Delhi: India Can Do More…

SINGAPORE’s Senior Minister of State Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, Maliki Osman (pictured left), visited New Delhi for the Raisina Dialogue, from 8th to 10th January 2019, where he spoke on a panel on the topic ‘A New Delhi Consensus – India’s Imagination and Global Expectations’. This is the fourth edition of the Dialogue which is India’s flagship annual geopolitical and geo-strategic conference. The inaugural address was delivered by Prime Minister of Norway H E Ms Erna Solberg in the presence of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj (pictured above). The Dialogue is co-hosted by the ORF and the Ministry of External Affairs of India. During the course of the panel discussion, SMS Maliki was asked what role India can play in the Asian region. He replied, “From the region’s perspective, we support Prime Minister Modi’s vision for India to play a more substantial role. So let me outline some of these in three broad areas: one, the economic opportunities that exist; two, the strategic opportunities; and three, the digital opportunities.” He noted from Southeast Asia’s perspective, there is certainly much more business to be done. In 2017, ASEAN’s trade in goods with India stood at US$73.6 billion while the same figure for China, Japan and South Korea ran upwards of US$150 billion each. So he felt that much more can be...

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G20 Round Up: Outcomes of the Buenos Aires Summit

The Group of Twenty (G20) Summit held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 30 November to 1 December 2018, called for major reforms to the international financial system. While global economic growth is strong, financial vulnerabilities, geopolitical concerns and trade issues, have partially materialised. The G20 recognized necessary World Trade Organisation (WTO) reformation to improve and update its existing rules and disciplines for the functioning of its multilateral trading system. This response is in addition to the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance (EPG) final report, enabling countries to reach their full potential and avert financial damage. The Global Governance Group or 3G (see accompanying box story) voiced support for the Buenos Aires Action Plan, which outlines the G20’s policies to strengthen economic resilience and promote inclusive growth. It also reiterated the importance of maintaining and strengthening an open, rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied by the WTO, to sustain free, open trade. The G20 reiterated its commitment to pursuing strong, sustainable, balanced, inclusive growth and pledged to collectively improve a rules-based international order. The G20 also reaffirmed its commitment to spearheading sustainable development through the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially for the benefit of developing countries. Furthermore, the G20 High Level Principles on Sustainable Habitat through Regional Planning, promote sustainable growth and responding to challenges brought about by urbanisation. In accordance, the 3G reaffirmed...

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Czech PM Would Like to Re-Open Embassy in Singapore

DURING his official visit to Singapore on 14th and 15th January 2018, Czech Prime Minister, HE Andrej Babiš, was feted with a Welcome Ceremony, followed by a dinner later on at the Istana, which was hosted for him by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. PM Lee thanked the Czech Republic for its strong support for the European-Union Singapore Free Trade Agreement signed last October. Mr Babiš also called on President Halimah Yacob and they reaffirmed the warm and friendly relations as well as the growing economic exchanges between the two countries. The next day the Czech Prime Minister delivered the keynote address at the Singapore-Czech Republic Business Forum and had visited the Centre of Excellence for Testing & Research of Autonomous Vehicles – Nanyang Technological University (CETRAN) and had an orchid named in his honour during his visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. During his visit he gave an interview to the press expressing his wish to see the Czech Embassy re-open here as Singapore is a major regional trade and financial hub. Another area of interest is the re-establishing of direct flights between both countries. He also had discussed with the Singapore PM more collaborations that included areas such as trade, technology and research as well as ties between both countries’ institutes of higher learning. Mr Babiš was accompanied by the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade, HE...

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INTERVIEW: HE Carlos Raul Vasquez Corrales – Get Ready to Know About Peru in 2019

In a free-ranging conversation with Peru’s Ambassador to Singapore HE Carlos Raul Vasquez Corrales with Nomita Dhar, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of IN Diplomacy, he speaks eloquently and passionately about the potential ahead for developing the relationship between Singapore and Peru. How has your  experience been since your presentation of credentials to Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob last September? THE diversity of diplomatic events here has made my experience in Singapore a very vibrant and enriching one. Since September, I have met governmental officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Defense, the...

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