- Press Releases
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pays Courtesy Call on Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong
1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong on June 24, and they exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as on regional issues.
2. Foreign Minister Chung noted with appreciation that Korea and Singapore have been working together closely as key partners, with Singapore being Korea’s top investment destination* as well as its largest infrastructure market** among ASEAN countries, and hoped that the cooperation between the two countries continues to strengthen in the process of expanding Korea’s New Southern Policy.
* As of 2020, Singapore is Korea’s top investment destination in the ASEAN region ($3.8 billion) and the world’s second largest foreign investor in Korea ($2.3 billion).
** From 1965 to the first half of 2021, Korean companies have won contracts for 393 projects worth $45.6 billion in Singapore.
o Prime Minister Lee appreciated Korea’s contribution to the prosperity and economic growth of Singapore as well as to the development of ASEAN member states through Korea-ASEAN cooperation that is in line with the seven initiatives* of the New Southern Policy Plus.
* (People) public health, education, culture; (Prosperity) trade and investment, infrastructure, future industries; (Peace) non-traditional security
3. Foreign Minister Chung emphasized the need to further enhance cooperation in future industries, such as financial technology*, startups** and digital economy***, and to continue expanding trade and investment between the two countries for economic growth in the post-COVID-19 era.
* The FinTech Cooperation Agreement (CA) between the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of the Republic of Korea and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was signed in October 2016 and revised in July 2018.
** The K-Startup Center (KSC), which specializes in cybersecurity and financial technology, was launched in Singapore in July 2020.
*** The two countries started the negotiations for the Korea-Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement (KSDPA) in June 2020 and aim to conclude the agreement within this year.
o Pointing out the great potential for Korea and Singapore to expand economic cooperation, Prime Minister Lee hoped that the two countries will further promote bilateral cooperation based on past achievements.
4. Foreign Minister Chung and Prime Minister Lee shared the view that, in order to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, access to vaccines in developing countries should be guaranteed and agreed to continue making joint efforts to strengthen global cooperation in areas of health and disease control.
o Foreign Minister Chung asked for Prime Minister Lee’s interest and support for the early resumption of the Reciprocal Green Lane (Fast Lane)* arrangements between the two countries, given that vaccination is picking up speed in both countries. He also looked forward to establishing a travel bubble between the two countries and to agreeing on mutual recognition of certificates of vaccination, both of which are currently under discussion.
* established in September 2020; temporarily suspended from February 2021
5. Foreign Minister Chung and Prime Minister Lee also had extensive discussions on global issues such as climate change and the situations on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.