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Singapore Signs MoU to Boost Investment and Innovation

Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote greater investment in the Asia-Pacific region and recognise the importance of private sector finance and catalysing public sector resources for sustainable and inclusive development.

“Singapore is glad to advance our close partnership with the ADB. This will enable us to focus on new and innovative approaches to challenges like climate change and energy transitions. This will also help ensure shared prosperity and more sustainable development for the region,” says Minister Lawrence. He added that despite the hurdles provided by the epidemic, the ADB’s Singapore Office made significant success in attracting private sector funding for projects in developing member countries.

The new memorandum of understanding aims to build on these areas of partnership by focusing on mobilising Singaporean public and private sector investment, funding, management skills, and technologies for private sector development initiatives in developing member countries.

The partnership will also work together to promote the use of new technologies and innovative procedures in areas such as the development of liveable cities, addressing the problems of climate change, and utilising financial technology to enhance financial market efficiency. In addition, they will jointly expand their digital innovation engagement to include areas of mutual interest, such as start-up support, deep tech, and the use of enhanced digital technologies for 21st-century skills.

The bank has been a consistent development partner for the area and, since the outbreak of the pandemic, has acted rapidly to support the immediate funding needs of its members to safeguard lives and livelihoods. Through this MoU, the bank and Singapore will continue to work together to support private sector development projects that contribute to the region’s infrastructure, financial, and social needs and help countries fulfil their commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the bank’s President, Singapore is an important partner in delivering investment and innovation to their developing member countries. The Singapore Office of the bank, which opened in 2020, will play a key role in expanding cooperation under this MoU. The office will strengthen the bank’s relationship with the Singapore government while also assisting its own Private Sector Operations Department and Office of Public-Private Partnership in engaging with knowledge partners, project sponsors, contractors, advisors, financiers and other international financial institutions in Singapore.

Singapore was an original member of the bank when it was founded in 1966. It borrowed from the bank until 1980 and formally graduated from borrowing in 1998. Singapore has contributed to the bank’s concessional fund, as well as the Technical Assistance Special Fund, since 2001. The nation is also an active participant in the bank-supported ASEAN Infrastructure Fund.

The 2022 MOU replaced the 2012 MoU between the bank and Singapore to improve knowledge sharing and cooperation in governance and public policy, private sector development, and climate change.

Furthermore, Minister Lawrence attended the Third Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting held in Bali, Indonesia, and other related events such as the Asia Initiative Ministerial Meeting, which was organised by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

He has signed the Bali Declaration, which reaffirms the nation’s commitment to encouraging the adoption and implementation of internationally agreed standards for tax transparency to mobilise domestic resources in a sustainable manner. This will aid in the fight against tax evasion and support effective domestic tax administration.

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