SINGAPORE - Singapore will use its chairmanship of Asean in 2018 to strengthen the grouping's role in the evolving regional architecture, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Monday (Jan 18).
It will host several key meetings, including the Asean Summit and the East Asia Summit, in 2018, Dr Balakrishnan said in his ministry's Addendum to the President's address.
Singapore will also open up new opportunities for Singaporeans through regional initiatives like the Asean Economic Community, and expanding access to new emerging markets in places like Africa and Central Asia.
The shifts in global power and competition for influence among the major powers, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, will impact the global and regional order and bring unprecedented risk and opportunities for Singapore, he noted.
Here's a look at the key areas the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) will focus on:
Maintaining Singapore's relevance
* Singapore will use its chairmanship of Asean in 2018 to strengthen the grouping's centrality in the evolving regional architecture. As Asean chair, it will host several key meetings here, including the Asean Summit, Asean Plus Three Summit and East Asia Summit
* Boost ties with immediate neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia, through projects such as the High Speed Rail and Rapid Transit System between Singapore and Malaysia
* Expand Singapore's international space through constructive participation in forums like the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation
Creating overseas opportunities for Singaporeans
* Open up new economic opportunities for Singapore companies and Singaporeans through regional initiatives like the Asean Economic Community, Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership .
* Expand access to new emerging markets in Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and Turkey through active diplomacy in collaboration with our economic agencies.
Engaging overseas Singaporeans
* Further engage Singaporeans living and working overseas
* The ministry will also work closely with other government ministries and foreign authorities to render consular assistance and ensure safety of Singaporeans abroad