By Lee Hana
President Moon Jae-in, in Singapore on a state visit, held a summit meeting with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana presidential palace on July 12. During the meeting, the two leaders agreed to further strengthen their countries' relationship by expanding cooperation on several areas, including trade and investment in human resources.
Following the summit, the two heads of state announced the results of their meeting in a joint press conference.
"Together we discussed ways to implement specific measures that would upgrade our countries' ties into a future-oriented relationship. One such measure is to increase exchanges of people, from the level of government all the way down to the civilian level," said President Moon.
Furthermore, the two leaders agreed to expand exchanges among high-level officials, and among students who study advanced technologies. They also decided to strengthen their economic cooperation in a way that would benefit ordinary people from both countries. As such, the countries will greatly expand their trade, which currently remains at around USD 20 billion, and further promote investment by concluding talks on revising the double taxation agreement.
The two East Asian neighbors also agreed to work together on facing the challenges brought about by the fourth industrial revolution and other large-scale economic shifts.
"If we combine our technology and resources, we will be able to achieve great success in areas such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, big data, fintech, biotechnology and medical devices," said President Moon.
"We will also cooperate on the development of smart cities in third countries. Singaporean firms are skilled in the development and management of smart city projects, especially in terms of software, while Korean firms have strengths in IT and hardware. By combining these two strengths, we will be able to spearhead a smart city movement, not only in the ASEAN region, but all over the world," he said.
Finally, President Moon expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Lee for hosting the U.S.-North Korea summit.
"Exactly one month ago today, the historic U.S.-North Korea summit was held here in Singapore. Thanks to Prime Minister Lee and to all Singaporeans we were able to begin a new era of peace for the Korean Peninsula. Moving forward, Korea and Singapore will continue to cooperate closely to bring peace and security to our region," said President Moon.
Prime Minister Lee said that he was pleased that President Moon is paving the road for the implementation of the New Southern Policy. "I believe that President Moon's leadership will be instrumental in elevating the relationship between Korea, Singapore and all ASEAN countries."