Future of Singapore-Indonesia relationship in the hands of young people: President Halimah

President Halimah Yacob concludes her first state visit to Indonesia on Feb 6, 2020. PHOTO: HALIMAH YACOB/FACEBOOK

YOGYAKARTA - Future ties between Singapore and Indonesia are in the hands of the next generation, said President Halimah Yacob, as she called on them 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 on Thursday (Feb 6) in a speech to more than 50 students at the 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, who concludes her first state visit to Indonesia on Thursday, said that while bilateral relations are excellent, both countries should explore new areas of cooperation, including the digital economy, artificial intelligence and e-commerce.

Over the past two days, she has visited several areas in Indonesia where organisations from both countries have started projects together.

After meeting the students from the Gadjah Mada University on Thursday, she went on a tour of BLOCK71 @ Yogyakarta - a start-up incubation community established by NUS Enterprise in partnership with the Salim Group.

The day before, President Halimah went to a local therapy centre in Jakarta where Singapore International Foundation volunteers from the KK Women's and Children's Hospital have been working alongside their Indonesian counterparts to train them and to provide occupational therapy for special-needs children since last year.

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

The workshop aimed to train 60 educators from various local institutions to build up competencies for Industry 4.0, which is a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that focuses on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning and real-time data.

In her speech on Thursday, the President highlighted various areas of cooperation including economic projects, 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."

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