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UK, Singapore partnership continues to grow; DPM Heng Swee Keat congratulates Queen Elizabeth on her Platinum Jubilee

UK, Singapore partnership continues to grow; DPM Heng Swee Keat congratulates Queen Elizabeth on her Platinum Jubilee

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat at Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Reception on Thursday, Jun 2, 2022. (Photo: MCI)

SINGAPORE: The partnership between Singapore and the UK will "continue to grow from strength to strength",  said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat as he congratulated Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee on Thursday (Jun 2) at a reception for the event.

"On behalf of the Government and people of Singapore, I convey our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Her Majesty on this joyous occasion of her Platinum Jubilee," said Mr Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies.

He said that the queen's reign has been marked by a "steely and steadfast dedication to serve the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth". 

He added that it is a "rare and significant occasion worthy of celebration" as the queen is the first British monarch to celebrate this milestone. 

In his speech, Mr Heng said that the "historical links, mutual interests, as well as the deep bond of friendship and trust" between the people of Singapore and the United Kingdom have remained strong and serve as the bedrock for bilateral relations.

Ties between the two countries date back more than 200 years and "generations of Britons have contributed to Singapore’s transformation", said Mr Heng.

Some of the more notable legacies are "the constitutional, administrative, and judicial systems that the British set up, as well as the use of the English language", he added.

"These systems continue to be pillars of strength for Singapore even as we evolve them to suit our context.

"The use of English as the working language in Singapore has given us an advantage. It serves as a common language in our multilingual, multiracial society." he said.

ECONOMIC RELATIONS

The economies of both countries have become more intertwined in recent years with the UK-Singapore free trade agreement and the UK-Singapore digital economy agreement earlier this year, said Mr Heng.

Singapore remains committed to supporting the UK's accession into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), said the deputy prime minister. The country will also work with the UK towards an investment protection agreement and a framework for green economy cooperation.

"Both Singapore and the UK are also close collaborators on innovation and R&D. Our partnership was further strengthened with the Singapore-UK Bilateral Co-Innovation Programme, inked last year," he said.

Under the programme, Enterprise Singapore and Innovate UK will fund innovation projects between the two countries in areas such as advanced manufacturing, agri-food tech, and cybersecurity.

Mr Heng congratulated the UK for delivering a successful COP-26 last year, adding that he looks forward to building on this momentum to secure a greener future.

He noted that climate change is an "area where there is significant potential for collaboration", with both countries "accelerating cooperation to promote green finance and the development of international carbon markets".

"As we celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, I have every confidence that our partnership will continue to grow from strength to strength," Mr Heng said. 

Source: CNA/fh(ta)

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