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A newslet ter of t he Singapore Cooperat ion Prog ra mme Issue 33

Ja nua r y 20 08

Singapore Scholars at the Singapore Scholarship Certificate Presentation Ceremony, 2 August 2007

15 Years of Assistance and Friendship IN THIS ISSUE

• Singapore and Vietnam reaffirm close ties [2] • Boarding School for Aceh orphans [3] • Ambassadors of the Environment [4] • World Health Day [5] • Towards a cosmopolitan metropolis for international trade, enterprise and talent [12]

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While every effort has been taken to carry out instruction to customers satisfaction NO RESPONSIBILITY liablilty will be accepted for errors CUSTOMERS ARE THEREFORE URGED TO CHECK THOROUGHLY BEFORE AUTHORISING PRINT RUNS

MAKING FRIENDS

Singapore and Vietnam reaffirm close ties IT was a case of a project coming full circle, when Singapore’s Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong officiated at the ground-breaking in December 2007 of the third VietnamSingapore Industrial Park, an initiative mooted in 1995 by Mr Goh himself and his then-Vietnamese counterpart. A key symbol of bilateral co-operation, the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park is a Singapore-style industrial park cum township that caters to Vietnam’s growing need for affordable quality housing and improved urban infrastructure. Mr Goh said he is confident the industrial park will contribute significantly to Vietnam’s urbanisation and growth. Singapore is now Vietnam’s fourth largest trading partner, while Vietnam is Singapore’s 19th top trading partner. Total trade between the two nations exceeded US$11 billion (S$15.9 billion) in 2006. In Vietnam, Mr Goh met up with his host, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, as well as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nong Duc Manh, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai and other senior members of the Vietnamese Government. Both leaders acknowledged the benefits of greater ASEAN integration, and discussed

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on an official visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from 10 to 15 December 2007 at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Vietnam’s development. Mr Dung briefed Mr Goh on his country’s rapid economic growth and its challenges, while the latter shared on Singapore’s government policies and its development experience. Mr Goh, who last visited Vietnam in 2003, has described Vietnam as one of the

key growth drivers in the coming decades among Asian countries. During his trip, Mr Goh also met business leaders based in Vietnam, attended the commencement ceremony of the AscendasProtrade Tech Park and visited the showroom of Guocoland in Binh Duong Province.

Welcome ceremony for the official visit of Sayyid Fahad Mahmood Al-Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers of the Sultanate of Oman with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore-Oman ties smooth SINGAPORE and Oman recently celebrated growing linkages with the signing of an investment guarantee agreement to boost bilateral investments, and a joint project to rebuild a 9th-century Arab dhow. These initiatives were honoured during a visit to Singapore by His Highness Sayyid Fahad Mahmood Al-Said, Deputy Prime Minister of the Sultanate of Oman, from 9 to 12 December 2007, accompanied by

ministers and senior officials. Mr Sayyid Fahad viewed a display of artefacts which the original 9th-century shipwreck was carrying, and toured a road in Singapore’s Arab district called Muscat Street, named after Oman’s capital. In line with closer bilateral cooperation, the Omani DPM mentioned human resources, port management, desalination and research and technology as potential areas of public and private co-operation that both sides could explore. As for the dhow project, the two countries are cooperating to build a replica of the vessel

and sail it from Oman to Singapore, where it will be on permanent display. The dhow will be a gift from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Construction begins early this year and sailing is set for 2009. The dhow project is a testament to historic maritime links between the Middle East and Southeast Asia – a tribute to Oman’s longstanding seafaring tradition and Singapore’s role as a major entrepot port along the Maritime Silk Route. The dhow will also stand as a reminder of friendship with Oman at a time when Singapore’s engagement with the Middle East has once again flourished.

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While every effort has been taken to carry out instruction to customers satisfaction NO RESPONSIBILITY liablilty will be accepted for errors CUSTOMERS ARE THEREFORE URGED TO CHECK THOROUGHLY BEFORE AUTHORISING PRINT RUNS

HELPING HANDS

Aid for Bangladesh cyclone victims CYCLONE Sidr, the worst storm to hit Bangladesh in 15 years, struck on November 15 last year with winds of 250 kph, killing more than 3,300 people and forcing nearly half a million into temporary shelters. The storm washed away around one million tons of rice, causing losses totalling about $20 billion taka (S$420 million) and exacerbating a food shortage problem that the government was already grappling with. In the Purba Saralia district, nearly 2,000 people had descended on a government-run relief camp, where officials only have food for 1,200. Compounding the problem of insufficient food, clean water and shelter, health officials also had to brace themselves against an outbreak of waterborne diseases, after two children reportedly died from diarrhoea in the hard-hit district of Patuakhali. In response to an appeal for assistance by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Singapore Red Cross Society (SRCS) collected $20,185 in support of humanitarian relief efforts in Bangladesh following the devastation. In addition, the Singapore government contributed US$20,000 separately through SRCS. The donations were used to help 243,000 families affected by the natural disaster. Cyclone Sidr also caused serious damage to the Sundarbans, a World Heritage Site and home of Royal Bengal tigers.

Cyclone Sidr, which hit Bangladesh in November 2007, killed 3,000 people and left millions others homeless. Imtias Admid, a construction worker from Bangladesh, reads a Bangladesh newspaper report about the situation back home.

Boarding school for Aceh orphans

SCP COURSES FROM JAN TO MAR 2008

Acehnese tsunami orphans attending the programmes conducted at Fajar Hidayah Integrated Boarding School.

SINGAPORE’S Foreign Minister, George Yeo, last November paid tribute to the people of Aceh for their spirit and resilience in forging ahead after the December 2004 tsunami. He was in Banda Aceh as guest-of-honour for the official opening of the Fajar Hidayah Integrated Boarding School. The school, which cost $5.3 million to build, is a collaboration between the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), Indonesia’s Yayasan Fajar Hidayah, a non-profit organisation, and the Aceh government. SIF helped to raise more than $5 million for the project. Stretching across two ha of land the size of six football fields, the school is located in the lush greenery of Blang Bintang, on the outskirts of the capital. A vast improvement on the tents and barracks that some Acehnese

children stayed in post-tsunami, the school can house up to 600 boarding students and provide places for another 600 day students aged between six and 18. The school started operating in March and the curriculum includes religious studies. At present, 180 tsunami orphans live and study there, while another 70 day students, also orphans, attend the school. Mr Yeo said the school is a symbol of friendship between the people of Singapore and Indonesia, in particular, the Acehnese. He added that Singapore was honoured to be part of the tsunami rescue mission and reconstruction effort that included helping to build a pier in Meulaboh, developing a hospital in the town, as well as building the school for Acehnese orphans.

Course When Agency

Used Water Management 26 Feb – 3 Mar 2008 Public Utilities Board, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources

Course

Urban Planning and Environment Management in Singapore 26 Feb – 10 Mar 2008 Civil Service College

When Agency Course When Agency

Course When Agency

Checkpoint Competencies in Goods Clearance 26 Feb – 3 Mar 2008 Immigration and Checkpoint Authority, Ministry of Home Affairs Checkpoint Competencies in Passanger Clearance 4 – 10 Mar 2008 Immigration and Checkpoint Authority, Ministry of Home Affairs

These Training Awards are part of the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) of technical assistance to developing countries. For more information on application procedures and terms of awards, contact the Technical Cooperation Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at tel: (65) 98199353 or fax: (65) 64793357. You can also visit our website at http://www.scp.gov.sg.

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REFLECTIONS

Inspiring People

Selestina, Prof Tay and Onika posing for a picture during the Commonwealth Advanced Seminar for chief executives around the world.

INSPIRATION comes in many forms to different people. For some, it may occur halfway across the globe. Onika Miller, principal director of policy analysis and review in Jamaica’s Cabinet Office, and Selestina P. Meni-Reti, deputy CEO for treasury and services of Samoa’s National Provident Fund, found inspiration in a teacher in Singapore, Professor Catherine Tay. Prof Tay is the programme director of the Commonwealth Advanced Seminar for chief executives from around the world, jointly

strategies that could be applied to her daily work. She said: “Public sector organisations generally do not think of marketing as a priority, but what I’ve learnt here has proven otherwise.” For Selestina, she would like to apply the concepts from the Singapore Airlines case study to her work back home, especially how technology can be applied to improve customer service. At the Samoa National Provident Fund which she oversees, cheques are prepared manually, resulting in long queues for loans processing. “I’m thinking that it would be wonderful to install automated teller machines and other technology to speed up customer service!” she said. The group spent a day on field visits to the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit headquarters and Senoko Power Station, and also visited attractions such as the Night Safari, Botanic Gardens, Chinatown, Little India and the shopping districts. In Singapore for the first time, both Onika and Selestina had brought with them mental pictures of a well-developed, modern city, but were immediately overwhelmed by what they saw. “I’m amazed at the cleanliness of this place,” said Selestina. Onika added: “It’s very green here and everywhere is beautifully landscaped. It’s an extremely attractive city.”

organised by the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC) of the Commonwealth Secretariat. For Onika and Selestina, Prof Tay was the highlight of the two-week course. Onika said: “She’s extremely engaging and uses anecdotes effectively to keep our interest level high. She is the best lecturer, in terms of presentation style, among all the courses I have attended.” Selestina added: “Prof Tay is such a dynamic woman, she holds so many titles – lawyer, doctor, lecturer... She inspires us to do our jobs better by equipping ourselves with the necessary skills. Her message is clear: If she can do it, so can we.” In this course, Onika, Selestina and 24 other public sector chief executives from 14 countries were equipped with strategic perspectives and functional skills and were exposed to many recent innovations in management thinking and practice. They also had the opportunity to share insights and network with one another Asked about their key takeaway from the course, Onika highlighted the module on marketing for the public sector. She found the case studies raised during the module to be most interesting and they introduced concepts and

Ambassadors of the Environment IN this age of globalisation often focused on developing areas such as commerce and tourism, it is heartening to discover individuals who work behind the scenes to protect the environment. Meet Mr Artur Kawicki, deputy director of the environmental impact assessment department at Poland’s Ministry of the Environment, and Mr Kunobere James Bond, senior environment officer at the Nakasongola District Local Government, Uganda. They were among 18 senior environmental officials from around the world who were in Singapore for a seminar on Environmental Protection and Health Management conducted by the Singapore Environment Institute (SEI), the environmental training division of the National Environment Agency (NEA). Organised by the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) from 29 May to 12 June 2007, the course aims to present an overview of Singapore’s environmental protection policies and to discuss strategies in public health management. To James, being in Singapore allowed him to see for himself what he had heard from his colleagues of the place as a clean and green garden city. He also found the local people he met during his trip, friendly and hospitable. Artur was impressed by the level of

development here, citing especially the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) network and public transport system. “The streets are clean, there’s no wastage of water and I see recycling bins around... this place is very well-organised as far as the environment is concerned,” he said. Besides classroom lectures and discussions, the group went on site visits to an incineration plant, offshore landfill, water reclamation plant and air monitoring station. Singapore’s NEWater water reclamation plant and its technology of reverse osmosis was an eye-opener to the course participants. As James said: “NEWater technology is a good strategy for a country with water scarcity issues. Also, I like the idea of fostering public responsibility on the need to conserve water, which is evident here in Singapore.” Artur was extremely keen on water management issues because central Poland is facing “a similar water resource issue as Singapore”. He would like to see in Poland more of the public involvement in waste management that he saw in Singapore, for instance, with the installation of categorised recycling bins for the public to separate their disposal of metal, glass and paper waste. Noting that incineration plants away from residential areas are environmentally-safe, efficient and address land scarcity, he would

Artur and James, participants of the seminar on Environmental Protection and Health Management, conducted by the Singapore Environment Institute.

also like to steer a paradigm shift in NGOs and the public towards the benefits of incineration plants – a hefty task considering that Poland employs landfills as the main form of waste treatment. For James, the community projects he saw in Singapore are what he would like to introduce in Uganda, such as promoting recycling by involving schools in a “Green Week” and the public in regular “Bring-your-own-bag Days”, by installing more garbage bins on streets; and spreading the water conservation message. His view is that the key to change is in fostering a closer partnership between the public and private sectors and a close-knit community that cares. “Everything is in place here, because Singapore first made the citizens love their nation.”

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IN SINGAPORE

Singapore hosts

I

F a famous brand of soft drink can reach the most remote and far-flung corner of the world, why is that basic medical supplies can’t? This was the question that the newlyelected World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Margaret Chan raised in Singapore recently. She was speaking as she presided over her first World Health Day celebrations in April. World Health Day on April 7 marks WHO’s founding since 1950, and is a platform to highlight key global health issues. This year’s theme, “Health and Security”, will also be the topic of this year’s World Health Report. S’PORE HER “SECOND HOME” Visiting Singapore is like a homecoming for Dr Chan, who calls this “her second home” to Hong Kong, where she was born. Back in 1985, she pursued her master’s degree in public health at the National University of Singapore (NUS). During her stay, Dr Chan visited her alma mater, NUS, as well as Jurong Polyclinic. Noting that Singapore’s Health Promotion Board has been designated a WHO collaborating centre for health promotion and disease prevention, Dr Chan applauded the health promotion and disease prevention approach adopted by polyclinics here. She also thinks highly of the use of technology – such as electronic medical records and teleradiology – for patient care. “I have visited many countries, but Singapore, as a primary health-care centre, is perhaps one of the best models I have seen so far,” she said. Dr Chan feels that Singapore has an important role to play in helping neighbouring countries with technical assistance, as it is already doing so for some countries. ENGAGING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY Referencing her ‘soft drink’ comparison, Dr Chan said that the WHO needs to rethink

The debate involved Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Balaji Sadasivan, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Store and Cathay Pacific’s chief executive officer Philip Chen. It was witnessed by over 200 senior government officials and private sector leaders from the region. In one no-holds-barred message of the debate, the panel acknowledged that it is in the interests of countries at higher levels of preparedness to help those which are not, if the world is to prevent or limit the potential damage of a pandemic. Although most countries have significantly improved in their preparedness for a pandemic, such defences are only as good as the weakest link. Prime Minister Lee urged countries to cooperate, share information and be upfront about the intelligence they have in the fight against global health threats, so that the world will have a “fighting chance of mitigating the impact and averting the worst” of transnational health threats. Singapore will be doing its part in occupying the Chair of the ASEAN Task Force for AIDS later this year to coordinate efforts in the region and to work closely with the WHO and the international community to fight this “silent pandemic”. Moving ahead, Dr Chan will steer the WHO towards improvements in six main areas: health services for the poor, international health security, health systems, health research, partnerships with member countries and the WHO’s performance.

its approach to engage the business sector to help it attain its goals. She feels that the lack of systems for delivering materials to the needy is the biggest bottleneck to progress. Right now, the WHO faces a struggle in its approach towards the business community. On one hand, the organisation has very strict rules and regulations on its interactions with commercial entities, due to the fact that it tenders important advice to ministers of health, and thus its decisions must not be influenced in any way by vested interests or by industry. This is the crucial ethical principle and moral compass that the WHO carries whenever it offers advice. On the other hand, it is now almost 60 years since the WHO has been established, and in many ways, the world has moved on. Dr Chan believes that it is time the organisation rethinks how it can work with, and tap, the resources of the business community. For instance, crisis situations around the world would benefit greatly from the excellent logistics support systems of the airline industry. “With the support of my member states, I am going to see how we can engage the business sector, in an honest and fair manner, to get the best out of those industries,” said Dr Chan. “The private sector has an increasing role to play in helping to prevent or control health issues.” DEBATE ON INTERNATIONAL HEALTH Dr Chan was also involved in a high-level debate on international health security that was organised as part of the World Health Day celebrations. The debate was meant to raise awareness of the need to improve international collaboration to deal with global health threats, such as emerging infectious diseases, the AIDS epidemic, environmental change and bio-terrorism.

Director-general of WHO Margaret Chan (center) participated in a high-level panel debate on international health security with Dr Balaji (left) and Prime Minister Lee as part of World Health Day 2007.

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While every effort has been taken to carry out instruction to customers satisfaction NO RESPONSIBILITY liablilty will be accepted for errors CUSTOMERS ARE THEREFORE URGED TO CHECK THOROUGHLY BEFORE AUTHORISING PRINT RUNS

IN SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE DAY IN Central Park in New York City, USA, became “little Singapore” for one day in April. The occasion was the inaugural Singapore Day, a celebration of Singaporean food, song and culture, to forge a connection with overseas Singaporeans and keep them updated on opportunities and developments back home. The event was held at Wollman Rink in Central Park on 21 April. Video screens and exhibition panels gave overseas Singaporeans an update on the country, including news of economic growth, career opportunities and developments such as the integrated resorts and plans to makeover Singapore’s canals, rivers and reservoirs. The entertainment included songs by singers such as Kit Chan and dance and comedy performances. An original musical

was staged on the lives of singers of getai, the makeshift song-and-dance stages where performers traditionally entertain during the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. Some of the best local street food was served at stalls set up in Central Park by 12 of the nation’s most popular hawkers flown in to whip up local delights including chilli crab, chicken rice, laksa, char kway teow, satay and roti prata. The crowd grew to 6,000 strong, with 90 per cent estimated to be Singaporeans who had all come for a slice of home away from home. The staging of the event was made possible through a massive collaborative effort. Singaporeans in New York volunteered their help – for example, to pack the thousands of

goodie bags, man the registration counters and help in ushering. The party was part of a larger effort by the Overseas Singaporean Unit (OSU) to connect the more than 140,000 Singaporeans currently based overseas with home and with one another. The number is a sizeable increase from just 36,000 estimated in the 1990 population census. The OSU plans to make Singapore Day an annual affair in a different city each year, in its ongoing efforts to keep overseas Singaporeans engaged and connected to home and friends. The OSU website at www.overseassingaporean.sg carries live news feeds and other information for Singaporeans across the globe to stay in touch with home.

RIGHT: Mindee Ong, Royston Tan and Yeo Yann Yan rehearsing for their getai show which was held in New York for Singapore Day. LEFT: Mr Hussin Abdul Kader, owner of Alhambra Padang Satay near the Esplanade was one of those who displayed his fare in New York during Singapore Day.

KF Seetoh and his team of famous hawkers going to New York for Singapore Day on April 21. The hawkers were jetting off to New York to show off their signature dishes at the Overseas Singaporean Unit’s first Singapore Day. 6 experience singapore January 2008

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Epigram MH236590 MAC8osx 21.02.2008 175#

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While every effort has been taken to carry out instruction to customers satisfaction NO RESPONSIBILITY liablilty will be accepted for errors CUSTOMERS ARE THEREFORE URGED TO CHECK THOROUGHLY BEFORE AUTHORISING PRINT RUNS

IN SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE DAY IN Central Park in New York City, USA, became “little Singapore” for one day in April. The occasion was the inaugural Singapore Day, a celebration of Singaporean food, song and culture, to forge a connection with overseas Singaporeans and keep them updated on opportunities and developments back home. The event was held at Wollman Rink in Central Park on 21 April. Video screens and exhibition panels gave overseas Singaporeans an update on the country, including news of economic growth, career opportunities and developments such as the integrated resorts and plans to makeover Singapore’s canals, rivers and reservoirs. The entertainment included songs by singers such as Kit Chan and dance and comedy performances. An original musical

was staged on the lives of singers of getai, the makeshift song-and-dance stages where performers traditionally entertain during the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. Some of the best local street food was served at stalls set up in Central Park by 12 of the nation’s most popular hawkers flown in to whip up local delights including chilli crab, chicken rice, laksa, char kway teow, satay and roti prata. The crowd grew to 6,000 strong, with 90 per cent estimated to be Singaporeans who had all come for a slice of home away from home. The staging of the event was made possible through a massive collaborative effort. Singaporeans in New York volunteered their help – for example, to pack the thousands of

goodie bags, man the registration counters and help in ushering. The party was part of a larger effort by the Overseas Singaporean Unit (OSU) to connect the more than 140,000 Singaporeans currently based overseas with home and with one another. The number is a sizeable increase from just 36,000 estimated in the 1990 population census. The OSU plans to make Singapore Day an annual affair in a different city each year, in its ongoing efforts to keep overseas Singaporeans engaged and connected to home and friends. The OSU website at www.overseassingaporean.sg carries live news feeds and other information for Singaporeans across the globe to stay in touch with home.

RIGHT: Mindee Ong, Royston Tan and Yeo Yann Yan rehearsing for their getai show which was held in New York for Singapore Day. LEFT: Mr Hussin Abdul Kader, owner of Alhambra Padang Satay near the Esplanade was one of those who displayed his fare in New York during Singapore Day.

KF Seetoh and his team of famous hawkers going to New York for Singapore Day on April 21. The hawkers were jetting off to New York to show off their signature dishes at the Overseas Singaporean Unit’s first Singapore Day. 6 experience singapore January 2008

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Epigram MH236590 MAC8osx 21.02.2008 175#

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While every effort has been taken to carry out instruction to customers satisfaction NO RESPONSIBILITY liablilty will be accepted for errors CUSTOMERS ARE THEREFORE URGED TO CHECK THOROUGHLY BEFORE AUTHORISING PRINT RUNS

COVER STORY

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While every effort has been taken to carry out instruction to customers satisfaction NO RESPONSIBILITY liablilty will be accepted for errors CUSTOMERS ARE THEREFORE URGED TO CHECK THOROUGHLY BEFORE AUTHORISING PRINT RUNS

Singapore scholars from Thailand at the Singapore Scholarship ceremony hosted by Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed.

A total of 48 scholars received the Singapore Scholarship in 2006.

AS

a young country whose only resource is its people, Singapore has always believed that human resource development is the key to economic and social progress. In Singapore’s early years of nationbuilding, many developed countries had given technical assistance to help develop the young republic’s manpower. This played a significant role in Singapore’s economic development. It was in this spirit of giving that the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) was established in 1992. Managed by the Technical Cooperation Directorate of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this is a programme of technical assistance

Singapore scholars from Vietnam with the Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed.

to help developing countries adapt Singapore’s experience to their needs. This year, the SCP celebrates 15 years of passing on the knowledge gained, value-added with practical experience, to countries in the region and beyond.

Singapore scholars and their host families.

and developed countries such as Japan and Germany. Singapore found such training to be very useful in upgrading manpower skills. Not long after, Singapore started providing technical assistance to member countries under the Colombo Plan, sharing with others the technical competency and skills it had developed over the years. In 1992, the SCP was established, bringing together under one framework the various technical assistance programmes offered by Singapore to developing countries since the 1960s. Unlike other international assistance programmes that offer components such as loans, grants and infrastructural development,

IN THE BEGINNING When Singapore became independent in 1965, it was a fledgling city-state lacking in natural resources. It received technical assistance from international organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Colombo Plan, 9 experience singapore January 2008

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7000

SCP: Participants Over The Years

No. of Participants

6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1994

Singapore scholars posing for a picture with officers from the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

1996

1998

2000

2002

2004

2006

Year

the focus of the SCP has been on human resource capacity building – mainly organising training courses, study visits and seminars for government officials. Training under the programme was broadbased and started out with subjects such as port management, housing, health and medicine, and transport and telecommunications.

No. of Participants

150

Countries’ Participation Over the Years

120

90

60

THE OUTREACH

30 1993

Currently, SCP’s courses have expanded to include training in areas such as Communications and Transport, Economic Development and Trade Promotion, Environment, Healthcare and Humanitarian Assistance, Information Technology, Management and Productivity, Public Administration and Law, Tourism and Urban Development. Bilateral programmes constitute the bulk of assistance under the SCP but the range and scope is broadened by Third Country Training Programme arrangements between Singapore and other countries and international organisations to jointly provide technical assistance. These include Japan, France, Germany, South Korea, Canada, the UNDP, Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, Hanns Seidel Foundation, Asian Development Bank, World Bank and World Trade Organisation. The SCP reaches out to countries across Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America. ASEAN member countries, particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, remain a key area for the SCP. Over the years, this steadfast focus on human resource development is seen in the large number of government officials who have benefited from the training programmes. The SCP has also been able to reach out to more countries. Through the SCP, Singapore has sponsored training courses and study visits for more than 49,000 government officials from 166 developing countries.

1994

1995 1996

1997

1998

1999 2000

Singapore scholars with Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainal Abidin Rasheed and the Philippines Embassy Minister and Consul-General Ms Maria Lumen B Isleta.

One of the IT classrooms at the IAI training centre.

Singapore scholars with Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainal Abidin Rasheed and the former Thai Ambassador to Singapore H.E. Chalermpol Thanchitt.

10 experience singapore January 2008

Participants at a training course conducted at the Cambodia-Singapore training centre.

In addition to the normal technical assistance, the SCP has been active in helping to set up flagship projects. Some examples: • Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC). This Centre was set up with the help of SCP. Officially opened in August 1995, Botswana chose Singapore as a model because of its successful adaptation and implementation of the Quality Control Circle (QCC) concept to promote productivity. BNPC currently conducts courses on productivity, providing consultancy services to private firms and spearheading the productivity movement in Botswana. It has become a model for other African countries to emulate. • Singapore Scholarship for ASEAN Countries Since 1999, the Singapore Scholarship has funded 448 scholars from ASEAN to study at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University. Contributions towards the Singapore Scholarship has amounted to over $35m so far. • Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) In 2000, Singapore proposed the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), an effort to narrow the development gap within ASEAN. The IAI aims to mobilise resources from more developed ASEAN member to assist the newer ASEAN countries Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Singapore pledged $59.54m for IAI projects carried out between 2001 and 2005. At the Tenth ASEAN Summit in 2004, Singapore pledged a further $28.89m towards the IAI for another three years from 2006 to 2008. To date, more than 20,000 participants from CLMV have participated in SCP programmes. In 2001, Singapore established four IAI training centres, one each in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. The IAI training centres allow more government officials to be trained within the four countries. The four centres are equipped with computers and provide training in priority areas identified by the respective countries and where Singapore has training expertise. These training areas include English language, trade and economic development, tourism, information technology and management. Under the SCP, more than 630 courses have been conducted and more than 11,000 officials have been trained in CLMV. Under the SCP, Singapore has contributed substantially financial and other resources within its means towards international assistance over the years. Moving ahead Singapore will continue to provide technical assistance in areas where we have the expertise and the experience, such as on environmental, health, trade and commerce, civil aviation, port management and information technology.

11 experience singapore January 2008

ES00) Jan08-2.indd 10-11

Experience Sʼpore _Jan Size:210 x 297mm_p10-11

2001

Year

2/21/08 6:13:36 PM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 OK

LLL

Epigram MH236590 MAC8osx 21.02.2008 175#

MY C K

2 DALIM

MH 671

While every effort has been taken to carry out instruction to customers satisfaction NO RESPONSIBILITY liablilty will be accepted for errors CUSTOMERS ARE THEREFORE URGED TO CHECK THOROUGHLY BEFORE AUTHORISING PRINT RUNS

7000

SCP: Participants Over The Years

No. of Participants

6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1994

Singapore scholars posing for a picture with officers from the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

1996

1998

2000

2002

2004

2006

Year

the focus of the SCP has been on human resource capacity building – mainly organising training courses, study visits and seminars for government officials. Training under the programme was broadbased and started out with subjects such as port management, housing, health and medicine, and transport and telecommunications.

No. of Participants

150

Countries’ Participation Over the Years

120

90

60

THE OUTREACH

30 1993

Currently, SCP’s courses have expanded to include training in areas such as Communications and Transport, Economic Development and Trade Promotion, Environment, Healthcare and Humanitarian Assistance, Information Technology, Management and Productivity, Public Administration and Law, Tourism and Urban Development. Bilateral programmes constitute the bulk of assistance under the SCP but the range and scope is broadened by Third Country Training Programme arrangements between Singapore and other countries and international organisations to jointly provide technical assistance. These include Japan, France, Germany, South Korea, Canada, the UNDP, Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, Hanns Seidel Foundation, Asian Development Bank, World Bank and World Trade Organisation. The SCP reaches out to countries across Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America. ASEAN member countries, particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, remain a key area for the SCP. Over the years, this steadfast focus on human resource development is seen in the large number of government officials who have benefited from the training programmes. The SCP has also been able to reach out to more countries. Through the SCP, Singapore has sponsored training courses and study visits for more than 49,000 government officials from 166 developing countries.

1994

1995 1996

1997

1998

1999 2000

Singapore scholars with Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainal Abidin Rasheed and the Philippines Embassy Minister and Consul-General Ms Maria Lumen B Isleta.

One of the IT classrooms at the IAI training centre.

Singapore scholars with Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainal Abidin Rasheed and the former Thai Ambassador to Singapore H.E. Chalermpol Thanchitt.

10 experience singapore January 2008

Participants at a training course conducted at the Cambodia-Singapore training centre.

In addition to the normal technical assistance, the SCP has been active in helping to set up flagship projects. Some examples: • Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC). This Centre was set up with the help of SCP. Officially opened in August 1995, Botswana chose Singapore as a model because of its successful adaptation and implementation of the Quality Control Circle (QCC) concept to promote productivity. BNPC currently conducts courses on productivity, providing consultancy services to private firms and spearheading the productivity movement in Botswana. It has become a model for other African countries to emulate. • Singapore Scholarship for ASEAN Countries Since 1999, the Singapore Scholarship has funded 448 scholars from ASEAN to study at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University. Contributions towards the Singapore Scholarship has amounted to over $35m so far. • Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) In 2000, Singapore proposed the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), an effort to narrow the development gap within ASEAN. The IAI aims to mobilise resources from more developed ASEAN member to assist the newer ASEAN countries Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Singapore pledged $59.54m for IAI projects carried out between 2001 and 2005. At the Tenth ASEAN Summit in 2004, Singapore pledged a further $28.89m towards the IAI for another three years from 2006 to 2008. To date, more than 20,000 participants from CLMV have participated in SCP programmes. In 2001, Singapore established four IAI training centres, one each in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. The IAI training centres allow more government officials to be trained within the four countries. The four centres are equipped with computers and provide training in priority areas identified by the respective countries and where Singapore has training expertise. These training areas include English language, trade and economic development, tourism, information technology and management. Under the SCP, more than 630 courses have been conducted and more than 11,000 officials have been trained in CLMV. Under the SCP, Singapore has contributed substantially financial and other resources within its means towards international assistance over the years. Moving ahead Singapore will continue to provide technical assistance in areas where we have the expertise and the experience, such as on environmental, health, trade and commerce, civil aviation, port management and information technology.

11 experience singapore January 2008

ES00) Jan08-2.indd 10-11

Experience Sʼpore _Jan Size:210 x 297mm_p10-11

2001

Year

2/21/08 6:13:36 PM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 OK

LLL

Epigram MH236590 MAC8osx 21.02.2008 175#

MY C K

2 DALIM

MH 671

While every effort has been taken to carry out instruction to customers satisfaction NO RESPONSIBILITY liablilty will be accepted for errors CUSTOMERS ARE THEREFORE URGED TO CHECK THOROUGHLY BEFORE AUTHORISING PRINT RUNS

PERSPECTIVE

Towards a cosmopolitan metropolis for international trade, enterprise and talent

T

is published by Public Affairs Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore Tanglin, Singapore 248163 Tel: (65) 63798350 or Fax: (65) 64710537 Email: [email protected] Website: www.mfa.gov.sg Designed by Epigram. Printed in Singapore. All rights reserved. ISSN: 0219-2896 experience singapore

Picture credits: cover, P9, P10, &11: MFA P2 (top), P3 (bottom) & P7: Berita Harian P4: Hill & Knowlton P2 (bottom), P3 (top) & P5: The Straits Times P6: The New Paper P12: Stephanie Wong

he Global Entrepolis is the biggest bazaar in Singapore for business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs to make new contacts, exchange ideas, and forge partnerships. What the Global Entrepolis seeks to achieve reflects our broader mission – to make Singapore a cosmopolitan metropolis for international trade, enterprise and talent. We aspire to be a leading Asian hub, connected to others, and creating value for the world. The recent turbulence in global financial markets makes the near-term outlook uncertain, but it does not alter the picture of a dynamic and resilient Asia and the trend that will likely persist for decades. Asia is on the move because China and India have taken off. Both are growing rapidly and transforming their economies. China has just undergone a major political transition at the recent 17th Party Congress. While there was intense interest in the personalities in the new leadership line-up, there is no doubt about the continuation of China’s policies, which are pro-reform, pro-growth, and pro-markets. At the same time, China is increasingly aware of the limits of growth, and is starting to address environmental concerns and issues of social equity. India has also made significant progress in opening up and liberalising its economy. But unlike China, it has not reached the same level of nation-wide consensus for reform, nor has it moved with the same degree of resolve. India’s political system, with multiple parties in a coalition government, is much more complex. The labour unions and bureaucracy are well entrenched and resist change. Despite these shortcomings, the economy is growing by 8-9% every year. Those who know India say that the elephant may be slow to rise, but once it is in motion, there is no stopping it. In Southeast Asia, oil-exporting economies like Malaysia and Indonesia are benefiting from the high energy prices, while Vietnam is pressing ahead with reforms and is on the verge of takeoff. Southeast Asia as a whole is being carried along by the growth of China and India, and moving forward. Singapore is at the heart of Southeast Asia and taking full advantage of the favourable conditions around us. We are deepening cooperation with our nearest neighbours, Indonesia and Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian partners to establish a single ASEAN-wide economic community. At the same time, we are seeking opportunities further afield in the wider Asian economy, especially in China and India. In China, the China-Singapore Industrial Park in Suzhou, a pioneering flagship project, has been a success. We are now launching a new collaboration – an Eco-City project in one of the Chinese cities, as a model for sustainable development. With India, we have concluded a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) – the first comprehensive FTA that India has signed with any country. This has expanded bilateral trade and tourism.

Now we are working together to develop Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in India. While we maximise our linkages in all directions to enlarge our economic space, our focus within Singapore is to continue adapting and changing to a fast moving world. Our basic strategies are to keep our economy open, upgrade our capabilities, and invest in our people. First, we are one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia, open to the cross-currents of global interactions and home to a diversity of entrepreneurs and talents from around the world. They bring with them diverse experiences, extensive expertise, creativity and new ideas, and add to the richness of our society. Second, we are investing in R&D to build up capabilities that will help drive our economy over the long-term. Our high standards of intellectual property protection give us an edge for R&D in Asia. Our compact size is also an advantage, because we are able to create a truly integrated environment to harness the synergies of interdisciplinary research. For example, we have set up the Biopolis which houses over 2,000 researchers from public research institutes as well as corporate research labs. Third, we are maximising our human capital. With no natural resources of our own, we have invested heavily in our people and in their education so that they can make the most of their abilities and talents. In this regard, our high standards of science and mathematics education are a major plus, and continued emphasis on these fields will help to create a workforce capable of keeping up with the demands of new growth industries with high technology requirements. One such growth area is clean energy, which Singapore is moving into, starting with solar energy. We are putting in place programmes to build up technical manpower and a pool of industry and technology leaders. The Government will be establishing a clean energy scholarship programme to fund some 130 Masters and PhD students over the next five years for study and research in local and top foreign universities. Most importantly, we seek to nurture in our young a spirit of inquiry and experimentation – never satisfied with the status quo, always rethinking old approaches and searching for fresh possibilities. Then we will have Singaporeans, in every generation, who are not only good at executing tasks reliably and well, but have the skills and habits of mind to create new ideas, explore new frontiers, and keep Singapore special and unique for many more years to come. Speech by Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, at Global Entrepolis @Singapore 2007, 12 November 2007, 6.45 pm at Suntec City.

12 experience singapore January 2008

ES00) Jan08-2.indd 12

Experience Sʼpore _Jan Size:210 x 297mm_p12

2/21/08 6:14:43 PM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 OK

LLL

Epigram MH236590 MAC8osx 21.02.2008 175#

MY C K

2 DALIM

MH 671

While every effort has been taken to carry out instruction to customers satisfaction NO RESPONSIBILITY liablilty will be accepted for errors CUSTOMERS ARE THEREFORE URGED TO CHECK THOROUGHLY BEFORE AUTHORISING PRINT RUNS

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