Britain keen to deepen defence ties with Singapore: Minister Philip Dunne

Britain is keen to deepen defence ties with Singapore, said Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne.
Britain is keen to deepen defence ties with Singapore, said Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Britain is keen to deepen defence ties with Singapore and enhance the security partnership between the two countries, said visiting British Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne. He leads a high-level delegation to attend the six-day Singapore Airshow 2016, which begins on Tuesday (Feb 16).

"Singapore is an important partner and we are continuing to deepen and strengthen our defence and security relationship which we very much value and wish to see enhanced. We also value the important relationship across both armed forces and welcome every opportunity to discuss the challenges that we both face," said Mr Dunne in a statement on Monday (Feb 15).

"The world is ever changing and the role of the armed forces in securing the security of our citizens requires an ever increasing breadth of tactics, doctrine and equipment, much of which we see here at the Singapore Air Show. I am very keen that UK companies look for partners in Singapore so that we can continue to share knowledge, understanding and technology that can only strengthen our ties," he added.

British companies are looking to establish joint ventures and industrial partnerships in the aerospace industry, and to identify areas of future co-operation across a range of sectors. More than 30 UK-based companies are taking part in this year's Singapore Airshow.

"Singapore is a very important defence and security market for the UK and the Airshow gives UK companies an excellent opportunity to showcase a range of capabilities," said Mr Alexis Hammer, regional director of the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO).

He said British companies which have a long history of working with friends and allies in the region, are now increasingly sharing technologies with local companies.

"This is particularly important as countries seek to strengthen their indigenous defence industries," Mr Hammer added.

British Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Transport and Home Office, the Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, chief of the air staff of the Royal Air Force, are also part of the delegation participating in the Singapore Aviation Leadership Summit held in conjunction with the Singapore Airshow.

The British High Commissioner to Singapore, Mr Scott Wightman, said in an earlier statement on Feb 12 that the participation of top British officials at the biennial Airshow "underscores the integrated and multi-layered approach the UK government takes in nurturing and maintaining the close and deep relationship we share with Singapore".

Mr Wightman stated that the Singapore Airshow serves as excellent platform to showcase Britain's world class aerospace industry, which is second only to the United States for both civilian and military aviation.

"This high-level participation demonstrates the UK's enduring commitment to key regional defence arrangements such as the Five Power Defence Arrangements, as well as our participation in the new regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Centre at Changi." Mr Wightman concluded.