AMSTERDAM: Singapore and the Netherlands on Wednesday (Nov 21) signed an agreement to enhance cooperation on environmental and water management.
This is the first time the two countries are signing a memorandum of understanding in the area of both environment and water.
Apart from aiming to facilitate knowledge exchange and expertise in the area of water management, the deal will look to support industry efforts to develop technologies and capabilities in water production, including through joint implementation of demonstration projects between the private and public sectors.
It also focuses on enhancing capabilities in four areas: Integrated water resource management, circular economy, climate change, and pollution prevention and control.
The Netherlands is the forerunner in the area of resource recovery and waste management, and the agreement can facilitate Singapore in exploring circular economy concepts.
“We need to transition to a circular economy because the current linear model of ‘make, use and dispose’ is inherently unsustainable in the long-term,” said Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli at the signing ceremony held at Prodock Amsterdam.
He added that if done correctly, Singapore would be able to address climate change through maximising resource efficiency and minimising waste across product life cycles and the economy as a whole.
Citing the upcoming multi-billion-dollar Tuas Nexus project, which comprises an integrated waste management facility and a water reclamation plant, Mr Masagos said the transition towards a circular economy can present an opportunity for collaboration between Singapore and Dutch companies.
“We are keen to partner with international businesses to share solutions and technologies in Singapore’s transition towards a circular economy," he said. “There is immense untapped potential in the sharing of best practices, and cross-border transfer of knowledge and technologies.”
More than S$5 billion in tenders will be called for the Tuas Nexus development over the next five years, and the facility is expected to be completed in phases from 2023 onwards.
The signing of the agreement was witnessed by King Willem-Alexandar of the Netherlands and President Halimah Yacob as part of her five-day State Visit to the country.
Earlier on Wednesday, Madam Halimah received a ceremonial welcome by the king and queen of the Netherlands at the historic Dam Square in the capital city. She later laid a wreath on a nearby national monument to commemorate those who died during the World War I and II.
The President will also be visiting The Hague, Rotterdam and Eindhoven over the next few days.