Youth urged to build on bilateral relations

Future ties between Singapore and Indonesia are in the hands of the next generation, said President Halimah Yacob, as she called on young people to maintain the "strong and constructive partnership" that has benefited both countries.

"As close neighbours, Singapore and Indonesia have weathered many challenges together," she said yesterday in a speech to more than 50 students at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta.

"We have achieved much through our close collaboration and networks. I urge you to continue this strong and constructive partnership in the years to come, for the long-term mutual benefit of our peoples."

The President also said that while bilateral ties are excellent, both sides should explore new areas of cooperation, including in the digital economy, artificial intelligence and e-commerce.

She was hosted by the university's rector, Professor Panut Mulyono, and had an engaging dialogue with the students centred on the theme Singapore And Indonesia: Strengthening Bridges And Progressing Together.

Madam Halimah encouraged them, as future leaders, to further deepen the strong people-to-people ties between both countries in the years to come.

Earlier in the week, she visited several places where organisations from both countries have started joint projects.

On Wednesday, the President visited a therapy centre in Jakarta where Singapore International Foundation volunteers from KK Women's and Children's Hospital have been training their counterparts and providing occupational therapy for children with special needs.

She also visited the Ministry of Industry in Jakarta to observe a workshop organised by the ministry and Singapore Polytechnic.

It aims to train 60 educators from local institutions to build up competencies for Industry 4.0, a future where automation and machine-learning are key.

Yesterday, the President highlighted various areas of cooperation that "are evidence of the depth and breadth of the ties between our two countries".

There are natural synergies between the two countries, and many areas where they can learn from each other, she added.

"I am confident that the relations between Singapore and Indonesia will continue to flourish in the years to come."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2020, with the headline 'Youth urged to build on bilateral relations'. Print Edition | Subscribe