Singapore and UAE reaffirm bilateral ties, seek greater tech collaboration

Bilateral relations between Singapore and Abu Dhabi have come a long way since the first forum in 2007.
Bilateral relations between Singapore and Abu Dhabi have come a long way since the first forum in 2007.PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI, REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have reaffirmed their strong bilateral economic ties, and will be looking into further areas of collaboration.

These include partnerships in technology, innovation, artificial intelligence (AI), space technologies and the public sector, announced Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

The pair on Monday (March 22) co-chaired the 13th Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum, which was held virtually.

Mr Iswaran noted that bilateral relations between Singapore and Abu Dhabi have come a long way since the first forum in 2007, and have continued to strengthen even amid the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As we enter the next phase of our collaboration, we will leverage the global technology trends, and focus on areas of mutual interest including space technologies, 5G, semiconductors and AI," said Mr Iswaran, who is also Minister for Communications and Information.

In a media release yesterday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that the UAE remains Singapore's largest trading partner and investment destination in the Middle East and North Africa region, with bilateral trade amounting to $12.8 billion last year.

MTI said Enterprise Singapore (ESG) will partner the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to encourage exchanges between the two countries through joint innovation challenges and co-innovation projects.

ESG is also working with the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority to offer AI solutions from Singapore firms to the Abu Dhabi government.

For instance on March 18, an AI workshop was conducted between the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Personal Data Protection Commission and the UAE AI Office to exchange views on ethical and governance issues when deploying AI solutions.

IMDA will also help Abu Dhabi companies find technological solutions in the areas of 5G and Internet of Things via its Open Innovation Platform.

MTI added that Singapore's national space office, the Office for Space Technology and Industry, and the UAE Space Agency have signed a letter of intent to reflect their mutual interest to collaborate in the areas of space technologies, space law and policies as well as human capital development.

The Civil Service College Singapore has also signed an agreement with the Abu Dhabi School of Government to facilitate greater and more in-depth exchanges between the public sectors of the two countries.