13th Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum was co-chaired by Mr. S Iswaran, Minister in Charge of Trade Relations, and Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore continue to have close bilateral economic ties, as Mr. Iswaran and Mr. Al Mubarak emphasized at the Forum.
According to data from Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Trade Statistics, 2021, the UAE continues to be “Singapore’s largest trading partner and investment destination in the Middle East and North Africa region, with bilateral trade amounting to S$12.8 billion in 2020.” This is despite the economic difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Mr. Iswaran and Mr. Al Mubarak declared that Singapore and the UAE would investigate ways to work together in the fields of innovation, technology, artificial intelligence (AI), space technologies, and public-private partnerships.
Mr. Iswaran stated, “Singapore and Abu Dhabi’s bilateral relations have advanced significantly since the inaugural ADSJF in 2007 and have continued to grow despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. As we move into the next stage of our partnership, we will take advantage of current global technological trends and concentrate on topics of relevance to both parties, such as space technologies, 5G, semiconductors, and AI. We also talked about how TradeTrust can facilitate the sharing of electronic trade documents and identified new opportunities for green economic cooperation like Carbon Capture, Utilization, Storage (CCUS), and hydrogen.
The Smart City
Through cooperative innovation projects and challenges, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office will promote exchanges. In May 2021, IPI Singapore will co-organize and facilitate the inaugural joint innovation challenge with the theme of smart cities.
5G and artificial intelligence
ESG is collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority to offer Singaporean companies’ AI solutions to the Abu Dhabi Government. On March 18, 2021, the Personal Data Protection Commission, the UAE AI Office, and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) held an AI workshop to discuss important ethical and regulatory concerns that arise when using AI technologies. In order to showcase in-market problem statements for 5G and IoT on IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform, IMDA will collaborate with Abu Dhabi corporates. Collaborations in the fields of 5G and AI, which are significant technology enablers that will help enterprises in Singapore and the UAE better traverse the digital realm, will act as a road map. For the implementation of Singapore’s TradeTrust, which supports the exchange of digital trade papers used in trade finance, IMDA is also eager to work with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and important participants in the private sector.
The UAE Space Agency, the Agency for Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn), and Singapore’s national space office also joined forces to sign a Letter of Intent expressing their desire to work together on space technologies, space legislation, and regulations, and human capital development.
Public Sector Partnerships
The Abu Dhabi School of Government and the Civil Service College Singapore have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on knowledge and experience exchange in current and emerging topics like public sector leadership, governance, public administration and management, digital literacy, and wellbeing in order to facilitate greater and more in-depth exchanges between the public sectors of Singapore and Abu Dhabi.