In a significant move to advance economic growth and mutual security, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has formally entered into a Strategic Partnership with Singapore. This partnership, signed on September 9, is expected to foster collaboration between the two nations in various domains, particularly in cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity, aiming to create employment opportunities in both countries.
The agreement comes on the heels of similar strategic partnerships the UK has forged with other nations, including France, Japan, and the United States, underscoring the UK's commitment to leveraging global relationships to fulfill its national priorities.
Under the newly established UK-Singapore Strategic Partnership, the UK and Singapore are set to elevate their trade and investment ties over the next decade, recognizing their shared expertise and interests in areas such as technology and clean energy. In addition to the partnership, both countries will work towards finalizing a modern bilateral investment treaty, marking the UK's first such treaty post its exit from the European Union. This treaty aims to boost confidence among Singaporean and UK companies, promoting investment and job creation in both nations.
Singapore holds a special position in the UK's international trade landscape, with a bilateral trade relationship valued at £21 billion, accounting for 40% of the UK's total trade within the Southeast Asian region. Singaporean entities have invested a substantial £226 billion in the UK. The UK and Singapore had previously signed a pioneering Digital Economy Agreement last year to facilitate trade opportunities for businesses in both countries.
In addition to reinforcing economic cooperation, the new Strategic Partnership is set to enhance security collaboration, spur innovation in science and technology, and encourage research and development activities. Notably, the partnership will focus on addressing emerging threats in domains like cybersecurity, exemplified by the groundbreaking collaboration between Singapore's new Digital and Intelligence Service and the UK.
The Prime Minister emphasized the significance of international collaboration in realizing the UK's national priorities, including economic growth and security. The newly formed agreement with Singapore reaffirms the UK's commitment to working alongside its closest partners to shape the future of the global economy.
In recent months, the UK has made significant strides in its international trade endeavors, including becoming the first new country to accede to the CPTPP Pacific trade agreement. The UK is also actively engaged in negotiations for various free trade agreements, including one with India, marking its first agreement with a European country.
The British High Commissioner to Singapore, Kara Owen, highlighted the importance of the Strategic Partnership and its potential to strengthen economies and address global challenges. Owen emphasized the partnership's role in advancing common goals such as decarbonizing economies, harnessing technological advancements like AI, and ensuring safety in the face of emerging threats.
The Strategic Partnership between the UK and Singapore aligns with their commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, as outlined in the Integrated Review Refresh 2023. The collaboration aims to address some of the world's most pressing challenges, including decarbonization and energy security, technological innovation, and global security.
Furthermore, private and state-related investors from Singapore have actively contributed to the UK's priority sectors, including energy transition, life sciences, technology, and more. These investments have not only supported the UK's transition to a net-zero economy but have also generated thousands of jobs.
The partnership has also facilitated technology-related investments, such as CapitaLand Ascendas REIT's acquisition of data centers in the UK, and partnerships between UK and Singaporean tech companies. It has also spurred the digitalization of trade, supply chains, and logistics through collaborations between companies like LogChain, Hurricane Commerce, and TMX Global Singapore Global.
The UK-Singapore Strategic Partnership demonstrates both nations' commitment to deepening cooperation, bolstering their economies, and shaping a brighter future.