UAE, Singapore Discuss Education, Startups, Fintech At Joint Forum

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)

Published: Wed 8 Feb 2023, 12:00 PM

The 14th session of the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum (ADSJF) was held yesterday in Abu Dhabi under the co-chairmanship and in attendance of Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, and S Iswaran, Singapore's Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations.

The forum was also attended by Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairwoman of the Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE) and Chairwoman of Emirates College for Advanced Education Board of Trustees, and Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General and Special Representative of COP28, in addition to officials and senior representatives from a number of key public and private entities in the UAE and Singapore.

During the session, the Co-Chairs reaffirmed the strong bilateral relations between the UAE and Singapore.

The UAE continues to be Singapore's largest trading partner and investment destination in the Middle East, with bilateral trade amounting to Dh82.6 billion in 2022, a 34.2 per cent year-on-year increase.

Both parties also expressed interest in exploring collaboration in mutual areas of strategic importance, including innovation, technology, financial services, industries, skills development, climate change, and food security.

Al Mubarak commented, 'For more than a decade, the Abu Dhabi Singapore Joint Forum has been an effective platform for public and private entities from the UAE and Singapore to develop productive partnerships across a range of sectors of mutual interest. Serving as a cornerstone of the countries' bilateral relationship, we look forward to further exploring and expanding our cooperation to benefit our businesses and people.'

Minister Iswaran, in turn, stated, 'As important business hubs in our respective regions, Singapore and the UAE share a mutual interest in promoting economic collaboration for the benefit of our business communities. Over the years, we have made significant progress in innovation, trade digitalisation and fintech. I look forward to taking this partnership forward, focusing on fresh and forward-looking ideas such as low-carbon alternatives and food security.'


The Emirates College for Advanced Education and NIE International signed a strategic partnership to cooperate in the education sector in governance and policy, training programmes, and capacity building for UAE educators, aimed to facilitate greater exchange between both countries in skills and knowledge development.


Hub71, Abu Dhabi's global tech hub, and EnterpriseSG, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support startups in both countries. Under the MoU, Hub71 and EnterpriseSG will work together to provide a range of services to startups, including mentorship, access to networks and resources, and opportunities for cross-border collaboration.

EnterpriseSG, IPI Singapore and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office also announced the successful conclusion of the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Smart Cities Open Innovation Challenge, which was first announced at the previous ADSJF. Following this, six Singapore-based companies have been matched with the Abu Dhabi entities to explore collaboration in smart city solutions.

Digitalisation and fintech

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are working with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on Phase II of the exchange of digital trade documents utilising Singapore's TradeTrust framework in live transactions conducted between Singapore and Abu Dhabi. In addition, the NUS Asian Institute of Digital Finance and ADGM Academy are collaborating on Fintech solutions under an MOU signed in March 2022, which entails joint research of real-world problems facing the financial services sector.

Sustainability and food security

Singapore and UAE also discussed potential collaboration in green and digital shipping. The collaboration could include piloting green and digital solutions to enhance the resilience, efficiency and sustainability of global maritime supply chains.

Initiatives to enhance food trade to support both countries' domestic food security goals were explored. This includes potential collaborations in agri-tech and supply chain resilience.

Photo: Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum – UAE

For more than 35 years, the UAE and Singapore have proactively fostered a productive and positive bilateral relationship anchored by active trade and investment. To broaden cooperation, the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum was established in 2007 as part of a joint commitment between both countries to explore mutual areas of strategic interest.

In 2019, the two Governments signed the Singapore-UAE Comprehensive Partnership (SUCP), a framework aimed at deepening existing areas of cooperation and exploring new areas of mutual benefit and interest of both countries, such as trade, industry & investment, financial cooperation, education & human resources development as well as sustainable development and energy.


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