Scope for EU to strengthen its engagement with Asia - Foreign Minister K Shanmugam

Minister for Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam (left) is interviewed at the State of the Union Conference in Florence, Italy on Friday by Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and Director of the Global Governance Programme of EUI Brig
Minister for Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam (left) is interviewed at the State of the Union Conference in Florence, Italy on Friday by Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and Director of the Global Governance Programme of EUI Brigid Laffan (right). -- PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

FLORENCE (Italy) -- Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam said that while Europe already had a strong economic presence in Asia, there was room to strengthen the relationship during his visit to the Italian city.

He was speaking during an interview by Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and Director of the Global Governance Programme of EUI Brigid Laffan on the topic "Europe and Asia", while attending the 5th State of the Union Conference organised by the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence on Friday.

"During the interview, Minister Shanmugam gave Singapore's perspective on regional dynamics in Asia, including the rise of China and India, and the Sino-US relationship," Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press statement.

"Minister Shanmugam noted that Europe already had a strong economic presence in Asia," said the statement.

"The EU, for instance, was the largest investor in Singapore. Nonetheless, there was scope to strengthen this engagement given ASEAN's economic potential as well as the alignment between ASEAN's infrastructural needs and Europe's scientific and technological expertise.

The MFA said Mr Shanmugam "encouraged Europe to engage Asia substantively and systematically for the benefit of both regions".