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ECONOMY, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore boosts US ties on infrastructure, digital economy and cybersecurity

They will explore cooperation on standards development and technology partnerships.

Singapore and the United States deepened their ties as they renewed the US-Singapore Collaboration Platform Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) where both countries will work to boost bilateral cooperation in traditional infrastructure and digital economy, an announcement revealed.

In 2017, the bilateral trade in goods of both countries hit nearly $103.10b (US$75b). In relation, the US remained the largest foreign investor in Singapore whilst Singapore was the second-largest Asian investor of the US in 2017.

“Building on the progress made, the renewal of the MOU enables us to explore cooperation in other areas such as standards development and technology partnerships,” Enterprise Singapore (ESG) CEO Png Cheong Boon said.

Since the MOU was first signed in 2016, Singapore and US agencies have teamed up on key events such as the Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable (ASIR) and the Singapore FinTech Festival. ASIR 2017 provided a platform for Singapore and US companies to exchange views and best practices on infrastructure planning and development, particularly for Asia.

For the Singapore FinTech Festival in 2018, several US companies also formed a US Pavilion and exhibited their innovations.

“The renewal of the US-Singapore Collaboration Platform MOU signifies our shared commitment to continue strengthening our economic partnership in order to stay relevant and useful to our businesses and industries, and bring about mutual benefit for both our countries,” permanent secretary for trade and industry Loh Khum Yean commented.

Separately, both countries also inked the Declaration of Intent (DOI) to work together on a Singapore-US Cybersecurity Technical Assistance Programme for ASEAN Member States which will boost partnerships in regional cybersecurity capacity building.

The agreement was finalised as part of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Singapore, in conjunction with the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits as the guest of the chair.

The Singapore-US Cybersecurity Technical Assistance Programme for ASEAN member states includes the substance of Singapore’s ASEAN Cyber Capacity Programme (ACCP) and the US’ Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership initiative.

“This new partnership, which will see the active involvement of key local and international cyber industry players, will help to enrich the programme content and strengthen regional cybersecurity capacity,” CSA chief executive David Koh said.

According to the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) the programme will extend the work of the annual Singapore-US Third Country Training Programme Workshop on Cybersecurity through laying down three cybersecurity training workshops on various aspects of technical cybersecurity capacity building annually, with the involvement of key industry partners. The training workshops will take place in Singapore as well as selected regional venues, in partnership with interested ASEAN partners.

The scheme builds on the strong ongoing collaboration under the MOU on cybersecurity cooperation between Singapore and the US signed back in August 2016.

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