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Singapore highlights cultural, commercial ties with Korea at 57th National Day

Aug. 16, 2022 - 14:09 By Sanjay Kumar
Singapore’s Ambassador to South Korea Eric Teo welcomes Singapore’s Ambassador to South Korea Eric Teo proposes a toast in concluding his remarks at a Singapore National Day event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Thursday.
South Korea-Singapore relations are built on mutual trust, and continue to expand to respond to future challenges, Singapore’s Ambassador to Korea Eric Teo said at an event marking Singapore’s 57th National Day in Seoul on Friday.

Aug. 9, 1965 commemorates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia.

Delivering welcome remarks, the ambassador stressed that longstanding partnership and mutual trust of Singapore and Korea are underpinned by robust economic, investment links and warm people-to-people ties.

According to Teo, the two countries are expanding areas of cooperation, moving beyond economic areas. New areas of cooperation include response to infectious diseases, such as Korea’s National Institute of Infectious Disease and Singapore’s National Center for Infectious Diseases exchanged notes on COVID-19 management to strengthen preparedness for future infectious diseases.

“Singapore-Korea cooperation now covers climate change, green economy, artificial intelligence, fintech, cybersecurity, food security, smart farming and biopharmaceuticals among other areas,” he said.

Singapore has 1,000 registered Korean companies in industry sectors such as construction, advanced manufacturing and finance, Teo highlighted.

The Singaporean envoy identified the top five Korean banks in Singapore as Shinhan Bank, Korea Development Bank, KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank and Kookmin Bank which set up in January this year.

He cited the Korea Investment Corp., Korea’s National Pension Service, Hyundai Motors, Daelim Chemicals, Ssangyong E&C and SPC as representative Korean organizations operating in Singapore as a strategic location to venture into other overseas markets in Southeast Asia, India and Australia.

He said that the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore would be the first electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Singapore.

“Hyundai’s vision aligns very closely with Singapore’s plans to catalyze EV demand and have all our vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040,” Teo said.

The ambassador said Daelim Chemicals would be the world’s largest polyisoprene rubber latex plant to increase global latex production capacity by 50 percent through Singapore.

According to Teo, Korean e-commerce firm Coupang and internet company Kakao recently established a presence in Singapore for e-commerce and blockchain activities.

Teo said that Singaporean companies are seeing new interest in investing in Korea.

He cited 50 Singaporean companies in Seoul operating in real estate and infrastructure, retail, food and beverage services and education such as GIC, Capital and Mapletree.
Singapore’s Ambassador to South Korea Eric Teo proposes a toast in concluding his remarks at a Singapore National Day event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Thursday.
Capella Hotel and Resorts, a Singapore-based hospitality group, will also open its first Korean property in Yangyang, Gangwon Province in 2024, according to Teo. He also mentioned the Singapore-based Global Schools Foundation, which acquired Dwight School Seoul as a notable example in the education sector.

According to Teo, 20 new Singapore-based startups are participating annually in startup programs such as the “K-Startup Grand Challenge” organized by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

Teo also highlighted positive mutual perceptions among the people of both countries.

“Singaporeans see South Korea as a country rich in culture and heritage, creative capital and dynamism,” said Teo, referring to the growth and popularity of K-pop, K-dramas, K-movies, K-beauty and K-food.

“Even before the pandemic, Korean tourist arrival numbers remain in the top 10 for Singapore. Now with the further reopening of borders, I am confident that our tourist exchange will grow even more,” he said.