posted on 08/05/2012: 1393 views
The 6th Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum (ADSJF) was held in Abu Dhabi yesterday under the co-chairmanship of Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi and Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore's Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development.
The Forum was jointly organised by the Executive Affairs Authority (EAA), and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the government agency driving Singapore's external economy. The Forum convened approximately 100 government and business representatives from both Abu Dhabi and Singapore, and reflects the ongoing and effective growth in the bi-lateral relationship between the two governments.
With policy development and economic growth at the heart of its mandate, the ADSJF has regularly hosted delegations in both states with the aim of exploring areas of mutual benefit and collaborative action. Significant initiatives to date include the finalisation of a framework in which investors from both Singapore and Abu Dhabi can be assured of investment protection. The Investment and Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) promotes bilateral investment and further strengthen economic relationships.
Among the initiatives were also the establishment of a regional office in Singapore by UAE mobile satellite phone provider, Thuraya, and the first government-private sector collaboration on environmental conservation in Abu Dhabi, in which Pico World (Singapore) Pte Ltd and CPG Consultants Pte Ltd, supported by PUB Consultants Pte Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of PUB, Singapore's national water agency) provide design consultancy services to the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) in the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve Centre of Abu Dhabi.
As part of the 'Al Nokhba' training program to develop human capital, 25 engineering students from Abu Dhabi visited the GLOBALFOUNDRIES campus in Singapore, providing deep insights into the semiconductor industry.
Abu Dhabi's Department of Transportation and the Singapore Land Transport Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last year to deepen cross-government cooperation in human resources and training, knowledge management and project consultancy.
Al Mubarak said: "We continue to achieve significant progress from both an economic and a government perspective. Although the Forum is now in its sixth year, there are still substantial areas of collaboration to explore and develop together".
Lee Yi Shyan said: "Since we started the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum in 2007, our partnership with Abu Dhabi, and the UAE has broadened and deepened. Beyond trade and economics, our agencies are collaborating on many fronts. The presence of 65 businessmen and governmental officials from eight agencies and five ministries from Singapore at this Forum reflects the substantive and productive partnerships we share with each other. The increasingly inter-connected regions of Asia and the Middle East will also create new opportunities for our cooperation".
The agenda for today's 2012 ADSJF began with a review of the economic challenges and lessons, in the context of the global financial crisis, and the development of an ongoing economic roadmap for bi-lateral collaborations between Abu Dhabi and Singapore.
Additionally, representatives from Abu Dhabi's twofour54 and Singapore's Media Development Authority delivered presentations on recent developments across the media landscape.
In terms of specific areas of collaboration, the Forum reviewed the progress of three current Working Groups.
The sharing of information around ensuring water sustainability, and experience in water reclamation was on the agenda. The two sides also discussed the successful Singapore International Water Week, and a potential collaboration with Abu Dhabi for a similar initiative to be held in 2013.
This group on Semiconductor explored areas of collaboration related to research and development.
Additionally, the group discussed ways in which to support Advanced Technology Investment Company's (ATIC) presence in Singapore.
The 6th ADSJF concluded with the signing of an MoU between the Urban Planning Council, Abu Dhabi and Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore. The three-year MoU formally provides a framework for the exchange of information and the development of human capital between the two organisations.
Singapore and the UAE's economic and overall bilateral relations continue to thrive. Figures showed that the total trade between the UAE and Singapore grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8 per cent between 2007 and 2011.
Beyond trade, the number of visitors from Abu Dhabi to Singapore increased by 9 per cent from 11,321 in 2010 to 12,342 in 2011. Visitors from Singapore to Abu Dhabi also increased by 9.5 per cent from 7,830 in 2010 to 8,570 in 2011. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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