THE Philippines and Singapore reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen bilateral cooperation in defense and security, trade and investments, pandemic response, and the protection of overseas Filipinos (OFs) in Singapore.
In the virtual 5th Informal Consultations on the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan (ICPSAP), co-chaired by Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Neal Imperial and Singaporean Foreign Ministry Deputy Secretary Ng Teck Hean, both sides discussed the developments in Philippines-Singapore bilateral relations, updates on joint cooperation initiatives, and prospective ways to further advance the engagement and collaboration of the two countries.
Trade and investment relations remain robust between the two countries despite the pandemic, with two-way trade amounting to US$ 9 billion in 2020 and Singapore becoming the Philippines’ top investor in 2019.
During the meeting, both sides discussed various initiatives to further enhance economic ties and to hasten post-pandemic recovery. One key project discussed was facilitation of the entry of Philippine agricultural products such as egg, poultry, and vegetables to Singapore. This, in turn, will aid Singapore’s bid to diversify its food import sources.
The Philippines invited Singapore to invest in the development of green and smart cities, (particularly in New Clark City), industrial parks and economic zones, clean and renewable energy sources, as well as in waste and water management systems.
Acknowledging the global changes with the advent of Industry 4.0 and increasingly digital economies, the Philippines and Singapore agreed to seek synergies and leverage each other’s strengths to promote innovation, support startups and MSMEs, enhance creative industries, improve ICT infrastructure, and cooperate in cybersecurity and data protection.