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Singapore, Jordan partnership can deepen Asean-Mid East links: Chan
SINGAPORE and Jordan are hubs in their regions, and a deeper partnership between the two countries will expand companies' reach in Asean and the Middle East, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Thursday.
"Most investors in our respective economies do not just invest for the sake of the domestic economy," said Mr Chan. "They use us as a platform, and we welcome the Jordanian partners to use Singapore as a platform to reach out to South-east Asia and the wider Asia region."
The minister hopes that Singapore can also work with Jordan to access the wider Middle East and North Africa region.
Mr Chan was speaking at a business discussion, involving local and Jordanian companies and government officials, as part of Jordan's King Abdullah II's state visit here. He was invited to Singapore by President Halimah Yacob, and he also attended the discussion at Marina Mandarin hotel.
Mr Chan said that the digital economy is one way for the two countries to transcend their geography. He invited companies from Jordan to take part in the Singapore FinTech Festival and the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology in November.
He also urged them to be part of Singapore's Networked Trade Platform which can connect traders with third-party value-added service providers, including those that provide remittance services.
Mr Chan said: "Today's global trade environment is under stress, and it is important for like-minded countries like Jordan and Singapore to continue to work together to uphold and update the global trading environment."
Singapore also wants to work with Jordan on areas such as energy generation, management and consumption, he added.
"We are surrounded by neighbours with a lot of natural resources, but we ourselves don't have much, particularly in the energy sector," he said.
At least six memorandums of understanding were signed at the discussion, involving the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Jordan Chamber of Industry, Singapore Manufacturing Federation and information technology companies Falcons Soft and Int@j.
King Abdullah II affirmed the strong ties between Jordan and Singapore, adding that he wished for positive outcomes following the discussion, given that there are tremendous opportunities to be explored.
He noted that Jordan's first free trade agreement in Asia was with Singapore. Discussions concluded in 2004, and the agreement came into force the following year.