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ASEAN SUMMIT 2018

Singapore, US collaborate further on infrastructure, digital economy and cybersecurity

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Singapore and the US strengthened their collaboration on infrastructure, the digital economy and cybersecurity this week, renewing the US-Singapore Collaboration Platform Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and signing a Declaration of Intent (DOI) to collaborate on a Singapore-US Cybersecurity Technical Assistance Programme for Asean member states.

SINGAPORE and the US strengthened their collaboration on infrastructure, the digital economy and cybersecurity this week, renewing the US-Singapore Collaboration Platform Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and signing a Declaration of Intent (DOI) to collaborate on a Singapore-US Cybersecurity Technical Assistance Programme for Asean member states.

On Tuesday, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) permanent secretary Loh Khum Yean and US Embassy Singapore chargé d’affaires, ad interim, Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath signed the renewed Collaboration Platform MOU, which was first signed in 2016. The countries agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in traditional infrastructure areas such as energy and standards, and support the digital economy and new growth areas such as fintech, e-commerce, smart city solutions and deep technology, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Friday.

Ms Syptak-Ramnath also signed the DOI between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the US Department of State, along with CSA chief executive David Koh, the CSA said in a press statement on Friday. The move to strengthen partnerships in regional cybersecurity capacity building comes as part of US Vice-President Mike Pence's visit to Singapore for the 33rd Asean Summit and related summits as guest of the chair.

The DOI builds on an ongoing collaboration between Singapore and the US under an MOU on cybersecurity cooperation signed in August 2016, as well as elements of Singapore's Asean Cyber Capacity Programme (ACCP) and the US's Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership initiative. It aims to continue the work of the annual Singapore-US Third Country Training Programme Workshop on Cybersecurity, delivering three cybersecurity training workshops in Singapore and selected regional venues annually, involving key industry partners and interested Asean partners.

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CSA's Mr Koh said: "We are glad to deepen our collaboration with the US and build upon the training programmes that were previously offered in Asean under the ACCP. This new partnership, which will see the active involvement of key local and international cyber industry players, will help to enrich the programme content and strengthen regional cybersecurity capacity."

MTI's Mr Loh, who signed the renewed Collaboration Platform MOU, said: "Singapore and the US share robust and longstanding bilateral economic relations. The renewal of the US-Singapore Collaboration Platform MOU signifies our shared commitment to continue strengthening our economic partnership in order to stay relevant and useful to our businesses and industries, and bring about mutual benefit for both our countries."

Over the past two years since the MOU was first signed, Singapore and US agencies have collaborated on several key events. For instance, companies from the two countries discussed views and best practices on infrastructure planning and development at the Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable 2017, and several US companies formed a US Pavilion to exhibit their innovations at the Singapore FinTech Festival in November 2018.

In 2017, bilateral trade in goods and services between Singapore and the US reached nearly US$75 billion. The US was also the largest foreign investor in Singapore that year, while Singapore was the US's second-largest Asian investor.

Png Cheong Boon, CEO of Enterprise Singapore, one of the implementing agencies for the MOU, said: "The first MOU paved the way for both countries to focus on and foster collaboration in mutually beneficial opportunities in infrastructure development. Building on the progress made, the renewal of the MOU enables us to explore cooperation in other areas such as standards development and technology partnerships."