Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed with Lee Hsien Loong prior to a ceremony to sign a Memorandum of Understanding at the Singapore parliament. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The UAE and Singapore held talks to bolster ties on Thursday when His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, arrived in the country on the second leg of his Asian tour.

Arriving from South Korea, Shaikh Mohammad was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Istana, the official residence and office of the President of Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob. “We are both keen to further strengthen our bilateral ties and are optimistic about their future,” said Shaikh Mohammad on Twitter of his arrival.

Further cooperation between both countries in areas of mutual interest were discussed, and President Yacob said he hoped Shaikh Mohammad’s visit would enhance the relationship between the UAE and Singapore. Talks tackled trade, economic investments, tourism and cultural and educational exchanges.

1985

Is when the UAE and Singapore established diplomatic relations

Shaikh Mohammad said the UAE was keen to learn from Singapore’s development experience, and then visited the Mubadala Investments’ GlobalFoundries plant in Singapore, where he was given a tour of facilities and a live demonstration of the manufacture of advanced semi-conductor products.

“To create a better future for the next generation, we are keen to support vital sectors that meet the requirements of modernity by advancing development and progress, especially in the fields of technology and science,” said Shaikh Mohammad during that visit.

Strength of relations

Later, Shaikh Mohammad also met Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in parliament. “Our meeting with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is a testament to the strength of our ties. Singapore’s development model is a pioneering experience, and we seek to learn from it,” Shaikh Mohammad tweeted. Prime Minister Lee welcomed Shaikh Mohammad’s visit, noting its importance in enhancing cooperation across multiple sectors.

The two sides reviewed opportunities for trade and investment cooperation, as well as developing education and health sector cooperation. The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Singapore’s Prime Minister also exchanged views on regional and international developments.

During the meeting, Shaikh Mohammad affirmed the strength of relations between the UAE and Singapore, highlighting the progress and development witnessed since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1985. “The UAE is keen to strengthen ties with Singapore,” said Shaikh Mohammad, “particularly in the education and human resource development sectors, in light of Singapore’s global pioneering experience, based on its knowledge, sustainable development and post-oil readiness policies.”

The UAE and Singapore represent two outstanding examples of human coexistence, added Shaikh Mohammad, noting the joint role the two countries play in promoting dialogue between faiths and cultures as important factors supporting strong ties between both countries.

Model of development

Lee also noted his country’s interest in strengthening ties with the UAE, highlighting the country’s development model and noting its strategic economic sector, while also praising the UAE’s development journey. He praised efforts exerted by the UAE to consolidate values of coexistence, tolerance and dialogue between peoples of different cultural backgrounds, as well as its efforts to ensure regional and global peace and security.

Following the talks, the two sides re-emphasised their common interest in bolstering cooperation, opening up new horizons for the benefit of their people, while also serving regional and global development.

They also stressed the importance of redoubling efforts by the international community to achieve regional and international peace and security, while also consolidating concepts of tolerance, dialogue and coexistence among various nations and peoples of the world.

Shaikh Mohammad and Singapore President Halimah Yacob inspect a guard of honour at the Istana Presidential Palace in Singapore. Image Credit: AFP

Shaikh Mohammad’s visit to Singapore follows on from a successful two-day tour of South Korea this week.

He arrived in Seoul on Tuesday before holding talks with President Moon Jae-in on co-operation in 5G technology, information technology, security and defence.

Partnership

The UAE and Singapore yesterday signed a comprehensive partnership declaration, a number of cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding in education, technology and environment. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, attended a ceremony in Singapore marking the exchange of the agreements. Shaikh Mohammad said that he hoped the partnership and agreements would help take UAE-Singapore ties to greater horizons of cooperation and joint action. The agreements, cover several areas including education, technology, environment and green projects.

Agreement

The partnership was signed by Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Dr Mohammad Malki Bin Othman, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs.

An agreement was concluded between Adnoc and Nanyang Technological University, signed by Dr. Sultan Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), and Professor Ling San, vice president of Nanyang University.

To create a better future for the next generation, we are keen to support vital sectors that meet the requirements of modernity by advancing development and progress, especially in the fields of technology and science.

- Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces

A memorandum of understanding on environmental protection was signed by Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Minister of Environment and Water Resources.

Another MoU was signed by Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, and Dr. Leong Chi Choi, CEO of Garden City Company.

Highlights of Shaikh Mohammad’s visit to Singapore

Meeting Singapore president

Shaikh Mohammad met Singapore President Halimah Yacob yesterday and a number of issues of mutual interest, apart from bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation.

During the meeting held at Istana, the office of the President of Singapore, Yacob hoped that Shaikh Mohammad’s visit would contribute to enhancing the relations between the two countries.

Key areas of focus during their discussions was cooperation in trade, economy, investment, tourism, culture and education.

Shaikh Mohammad expressed his aspiration to further strengthen UAE-Singapore relations and push forward with great opportunities for mutual development, growth and prosperity.

The UAE continues to learn from Singapore’s model of development, Shaikh Mohammad said.

Talks with Singapore Prime Minister

Shaikh Mohammad held talks with Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest in the global arena. The two sides reviewed opportunities for trade and investment cooperation, as well as developing education and health sector cooperation.

During the meeting, Shaikh Mohammad highlighted the progress in bilateral ties since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1985.

“The UAE is keen to strengthen ties with Singapore particularly in the education and human resource development sectors, in light of Singapore’s global pioneering experience, based on its knowledge, sustainable development and post-oil readiness policies,” Shaikh Mohammad said. The UAE and Singapore represent two outstanding examples of human coexistence, he added.

Visit to GlobalFoundries

In Singapore, Shaikh Mohammad visited GlobalFoundries, a semi-conductor company owned by Mubadala.

During the visit, Shaikh Mohammad was briefed on the company’s programmes in chip design, development and manufacturing and its role in building a dynamic tech sector.

GlobalFoundries manufactures millions of advanced semi-conductor wafers a year across a wide range of technologies.

Kay Chai Ang, senior vice-president and general manager for GlobalFoundries Asia and Europe Operations, briefed Shaikh Mohammad at the facility.

The company’s research and educational initiatives include partnerships with global institutions to develop the capabilities of future generations of scientists and researchers in nanotechnology.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and his accompanying delegation toured GlobalFoundries’ manufacturing facility and witnessed a live demonstration of a manufacturing experience using virtual reality for advanced semi-conductor products in a pollution-free environment.