SG Ambassador’s Message
SG Ambassador's Message
Heartiest congratulations to the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in Korea on its establishment!
The COVID-19 pandemic over the last 20 months has brought about disruptions to many economies and societies around the world, including Singapore and the Republic of Korea (ROK). Rising trade tensions and increasing protectionism around the world has underlined the importance of bilateral and multilateral trade relationships, especially with open economies such as Singapore and the ROK, which depend on the free flow of people, goods and services.
Despite the pandemic, we have witnessed major economic developments, both at the bilateral and multilateral level. For example, ASEAN Member States, including Singapore, together with Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and the ROK, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement in 2020. Singapore is also in discussion with the ROK on a Korea-Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement (KSDPA). I look forward to the conclusion of the KSDPA in the near future which will be an important agreement for both countries to prepare our people in the post COVID-19 world. The ROK has also expressed strong interest to join the DEPA (Digital Economy Partnership Agreement), an agreement consisting of Chile, New Zealand and Singapore.
Singapore is managing the COVID-19 outbreak in a transparent and systematic manner, taking a calibrated approach to ensure we remain connected to the rest of the world while keeping our people safe. The world is now facing the challenge of more infectious variants of the virus, especially the Delta variant. Likewise, Singapore is also experiencing an increase in the number of local community cases as a result. But as Singapore’s COVID-19 vaccination rate has reached 84%, we can finally see a possible path out of the pandemic.
With the gradual re-opening of economies and resumption of business travel, Singapore is committed to helping businesses, workers and households see through the pandemic. The Singapore Government has set aside close to S$100 billion across five budgets in 2020, which is a landmark package representing 20% of our GDP. Singapore and the ROK have also recently agreed to jointly launch Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs), which will start from 15 November 2021, and is the first of its kind between two major aviation hubs in Asia. To support the VTLs, our two countries have also reached an agreement on the mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificates. This will allow fully vaccinated travellers with proof of vaccination in either Singapore or the ROK to visit each other’s countries without the need for quarantine. Quarantine will be replaced by periodic PCR tests.
This is a positive step to help the businesses of our two countries overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 situation. I am also confident that this presents a good opportunity for new business partnerships and opportunities to be catalysed. Together with Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in Korea, the Singapore Embassy in Korea will continue to support the Singapore businesses in the ROK, as well as promote opportunities for Korean investments in Singapore.
Singapore Ambassador in the ROK