SEOUL: More flights to and from Singapore and South Korea may soon be on the horizon, after the countries formalised an expanded air services agreement on Saturday (Nov 23).
The agreement, which will come into effect on Tuesday, will allow carriers from Singapore and South Korea to mount more passenger and cargo flights between any destination in the two countries.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the signing and exchanges of four Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries in areas of standards and conformance, manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, smart cities and cyber cooperation on Saturday. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Moon Jae-in witnessed the signing and exchanges.
Mr Lee is in South Korea for a bilateral visit and to attend the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit.
Currently, Singapore Airlines operates 28 weekly services to Seoul and four weekly services to Busan, the second largest city in South Korea. Scoot operates three weekly services from Singapore through Taipei in Taiwan, to Seoul.
Korean Air and Asiana Airlines operate 28 weekly passenger services and seven weekly cargo services between Singapore and Seoul. Jeju Air operates four weekly services from Busan to Singapore.
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There will also be an expansion of fifth freedom traffic rights, which allows carriers from both countries to better connect their services through third countries as well as beyond their countries to other destinations. Singapore and South Korea will also increase collaboration in other areas.
Enterprise Singapore (ESG) announced that South Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups will set up a Korea Startup Centre in Singapore in 2020, its first within Southeast Asia.
The centre will be a full-fledged facility offering physical workspaces as well as services on business set-up to facilitate the soft-landing of South Korea SMEs and start-ups in Singapore, ESG said.
An MOU was also signed between Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. It would facilitate a mutual recognition agreement on good manufacturing practice (GMP) inspections for pharmaceutical products.
“Having an MRA will reduce the duplication of GMP inspections and improve the efficiency of both regulatory authorities, facilitating trade and access of pharmaceuticals for consumers in both countries,” said HSA.